Friday, November 30, 2012

Lucid Analysis Trials in Therapy: The Uncertainty Factor

Hey look! A Lucid Analysis! It feels like forever since I’ve done one of these… probably because it’s been 3 weeks since I had therapy (Last Thursday was a holiday here so I didn’t have therapy).

Sooo, yeah. I’ve been up and down a lot lately. Not wildly, uncontrollably up and down, but definitely up and down. I’ve been a little depressed as well.

Last Saturday a buddy of mine got ahold of me. His birthday is coming up and he really wants me there. However he’s also still friends with my (now not BFF) Riot (BPD Friend #2) and her long time best friend the Jaded Monster of Anger and Nastiness (that’s not her real name, it’s just what I call her).

I told him I could probably deal with seeing Riot but I want nothing to do with J-MAN. Here’s the thing. I used to be friends with her too. When I was living with Evil-Ex they were the first real friends I made here after moving to NY. He made my life hell for wanting my own friends so I effectively had to include him in everything I was doing. He sort of became friends with them as well (as a way to control me). After we broke up for good (mind you this is after a good chunk of the abuse, including him trying to kill me) they were still sort of friends with him? We were talking about having a party at Riots and I asked if we could just not invite him. J-MAN said they were still friends and it would be rude. I was in a pretty vulnerable place because of the things he was still doing to me and planning to do to me. I broke down in tears. J-MAN and I went outside and sat on the street curb. I confided in her all the nasty things that he’d done, that I found out he was planning to do, that even his “best friends” were afraid of him. She was very comforting and supportive. I actually felt very close to her. Until a little while later I found out that she went right to him and told him everything I said and even wrongly through Doc under his radar. The consequences of that mess were incredibly hurtful for me and Doc. We had to live with the consequences of her actions, not her.

After that I was done. Black. Done. I don’t show things like this though. I was still very involved with Riot and she was a necessary annoyance so I continued to be civil even though being near her was a betrayal stabbing me in the heart.

Plus she’s just mean. She’s sarcastic in that biting hurtful way, to everyone. Especially people she considers friends. She bitter, jaded, and outwardly nasty to people. She’s just very unpleasant to be around.

So I don’t want to be around her. I told my buddy that I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to deal with seeing them. It would depend on my mood that day and if I felt I was in a place that I was emotionally capable of handling the potential feelings that would come up. He said he just wanted me to be comfortable. I tried to remain honest. Being comfortable was not going to happen, it would be a matter of coping well. So he said well maybe we could just grab tea beforehand if I didn’t feel like I could handle them.

::heart stab:: Why do I get shafted from a party first? Why do I get to be the one to miss out when I’m better friends with him and great friends with just about every other person he’s inviting (whom Riot and J-MAN don’t know except in passing). I was really, really hurt. Really hurt. I couldn’t stop ruminating on it all night, into when I woke up and all day.

In the end all I said was it would really depend on how I was feeling that day, but ultimately it’s his birthday and he’s allowed to invite whoever he wants.

Yes, this is actually the bread I made. Just out of the oven. 
I was just so sick of everything. I’m trying so hard to pull my life together and leave the bullshit and drama out of it. I can’t escape it all though. I feel like everywhere I turn I’m confronting a part of my past here that triggers me. I wanted out. Out of NY completely. Pick up my life, move back with sister, and leave my bad memories behind. I have so much heartache here.

I tried to focus my energy into more constructive things then the hopelessness I was feeling. I went to the gym. I confirmed plans to hang out with xRoommate, her BF, and my buddy. I made bread, from scratch, by hand. And by the end of the night I was having a really great time. Fresh bread, cheese, good friends, and Dr. Who. I was feeling connected and cared for by friends that I know really do love me.

BPD Lesson: Choose carefully the people you keep in your life. Relationships are a huge part of everyone’s life. With us they’re even more significant because of the effects they have on us. If the people we have in our life bring us down, trigger us, push us to those extreme states… it’s time to ask ourselves if they’re really the kind of people we need to have in our life. Don’t just jump off the edge and severe ties. It’s important to be able to figure out the difference between what is actually happening and what our emotions skew our perceptions to think is happening. That’s big. But if you come to realize that despite your efforts someone in your life continually hurts you, ignores your triggers and continues to push them. It might be time to take care of yourself and keep their influence out of your life. This is ultimately what I had to do with Friend. I cared for him deeply. I was afraid of losing his friendship. But he wasn’t willing to be considerate of my feelings and he continued to trigger me in a way that was very harmful to me… so in the end, it was healthier for me to let go. Give myself the chance to find something better, healthier. That doesn’t result in stabbing old wounds.

I’m just trying to remember to keep it going one day at a time.

Work has been going really well. Really well. I had a really good performance review. Unfortunately my projects will be wrapping up in the next year and while my boss is pushing to keep me on longer, it’s uncertain if we’ll have the budget (a year from now). I’ve been in complete shock about this.  I know it’s a ways into the future, but all those Failure issues, all those Perfectionist issues, all those feelings of worthlessness and not being good enough rise to the surface. I’ve been freaking out.

I’ve been trying not to drink at all. Not quite perfect, but I definitely needed a couple drinks that night. I just needed my brain to shut up.

It’s the uncertainty. The not knowing. It could go this way. It could go that way. What am I going to do if this doesn’t happen? What am I going to do if this happens instead? I can’t know until I’m actually in the experience of it. Life isn’t predetermined. What life is, is uncertain. And that can be terrifying. When things are uncertain they’re out of your control. Out of my control. My life, my fate, is in the hands of someone or something else. I loathe and detest when things are out of my control.

I think a big part of my mood swings, anger, and fear stem from my control issues. I had so little control over so much, the way I compensated for that feeling of helplessness was to form these perfect structures. These rigid ideas. If things work this way, I can predict the outcome, I don’t have to be uncertain, I don’t have to be afraid.  I build up these scenarios of what I think I “need” to happen.  Except any deviation to that rigid plan and my sense of control shatters. I feel lost. Hopeless. Like nothing will ever work out or go my way.

It’s been such a constant feeling in my life. Such a destructive feeling that fuels destructive behavior.

That night I had a few drinks. I was freaking out about potential future money issues. So what do I do? I shop. Fuck this shit, I’m buy something I want. Maybe a couple things. And then of course I feel guilty, but defiantly guilty.

And then I pull myself together. I am very grateful to have Therapist to talk through these things with. Where I work has many different engineering groups and departments and they favor hiring internally. My boss also said if another extended term wasn’t able to be squeezed into the budget he would give me a very good recommendation. That made me feel a little better. I like my boss. He’s a good guy to work for. I actually love this whole place (Despite my paranoia and stress levels, haha). So Therapist and I talked about what I could potentially do. Formed a plan so I don’t feel like I’m floundering in the dark.

Not to mention, my resume is a rock star. It was really impressive before I started working here. Now? It’s pretty crazy. Even I can’t manage to feel bad about my resume.

And that helped a lot.

When the future is being uncertain and thoughts are starting to run away. Take action. Form a plan. Don’t focus on all the problems or the potential disasters. Focus on a solution.

Don’t dwell on the problem. Work on a solution.

Harping on the problem only creates messy thoughts, bad emotions, and reactive behaviors. Refocusing your energy to work towards a solution however, is a constructive way to redirect your energy that will benefit your life in the long run.

It’s okay to have a bad night. Don’t let that bad night turn into a bad life though. Allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to feel. And then allow yourself to channel those feelings into something more constructive. I know it’s not easy, but it gets easier. In the past I would have been inconsolable for who knows how long. This time it was a night. I still have my worries. Not gonna lie and say those have gone away. I think it’s natural to have some worry and concern for the future. But it’s not debilitating. It’s not overwhelming. I’m still able to function without falling apart. And that’s major, major progress.

We talked about my progress a lot too. I’ve been with Therapist for almost 2 years. She didn’t know me through my teens or when I was with Evil-Ex. She’s never seen me at my worst or my most volatile. When I first started seeing her I was quite broken. I was devastated and hurting. And she sees me now. The transformation I’ve made is astounding. It’s not quick, it’s not perfect, but I’ve come so far towards being a functional, happy person. I’m very grateful.

I’m grateful for all of you too. This blog has helped me immensely, as I hope it helps you.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Post: Borderline Love

I have a special treat for you today! A lovely Reader sent me this poem that she wrote and asked to share it with all of you. Whether you have BPD or have loved someone with BPD you can feel the sentiment she shares. 

Borderline Love

As the years trickle past,
my blood thickens
I can read your attacks;
Your glass wall of protection is cracking.

Vicious and juvenile, she
casts a lightning streak, a clouded fog
burning my eyes as she barks taunts
into reddening ears, I ache
to release one—hard—swipe,
one good crack
that you so deserve.
But I restrain the golden-glove
boxer within my throbbing heart
waiting for the emotional
beatings until they stop.
‘I know she’s going to leave me,’
She’s the grandmother who bakes nails
into her cookies
“I love you unconditionally…”

under one condition
I am her punching bag and her ‘sweet girl.’

I’ve lost count of how many times her barb caught
on my weathered heart and tugged
a little too hard.

I will always love you, forever

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quotes from the Borderline: You are not alone

“The reason they keep it so tight is that no one liked them, so that without each other, actually, they couldn't exist. They support each other. They support their flaws and everything else.”

~ Jennifer Saunders  ~  

Now replace the word “liked” with the word “understood”

“The reason they keep it so tight is that no one understood them, so that without each other, actually, they couldn't exist. They support each other. They support their flaws and everything else.”

I think this is a big part of why Zoe and I were so instantly crucial to each other. We had both been so misunderstood, and so alone in our own minds… because to be quite honest we both always had a lot of people around, we are pretty popular to hang out with… even being with other people, when you are so misunderstood, when you have to pretend to be something more, really something less, than you actually are to be accepted… it’s lonely. Who here hasn’t felt alone in a crowd of people? We were each other’s anchor in the maelstrom. Without each other, without her, I would have drowned. Just knowing she was there, that someone out there got me, that I wasn’t just this crazy woman floating away in my own head, was my life preserver.

And I think it’s one of the saddest things that we with BPD have to live with: the feeling of being alone b/c we don’t feel like anyone can truly understand us. It’s heart breaking.

But we’re not alone. You’re not alone. There are a lot of us. Reaching out and screaming silently. That’s why I believe it’s so important to support each other. We need each other. We need that understanding. We need to know we’re not alone.

I’m hoping my new Forum will encourage that as well. A safe place to support one another. To find one another. Stop by and say hello. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

New: Beyond the Borderline Forum!

Hello there everyone, 

A while ago I talked about finding support where it is typically unavailable. One of the suggestions I’ve received is to incorporate a forum here for everyone to have a safe place to discuss their questions and concerns. Sooo….

I had time this weekend and I set it up!

I have one rule and one rule only: Don’t be abusive and disrespectful.

Given the very nature of our disorder I completely expect emotions to run high sometimes. And I’ve been on plenty of forums for Family and Friends of those affected with BPD where the general attitude is not one of understanding and tolerance.  It’s understandable, and I do want you to feel free to express your concerns and experiences as you understand them. If dialogue gets abusive though, that’s a problem, and is counterproductive to promoting understanding and healing. You will be removed by the moderators. So just please be respectful.

It’s just a quick Registration: >> Make up a Username >> Create a Password >> enter an e-mail address (this won’t be publicly displayed).

I’m choosing to do this in an attempt to limit trolls so this can be a space of open discussion between those of us suffering with BPD directly and the family, friends, and loved ones in our lives to learn a little more and ask their questions as well.

I worked hard to create a user friendly layout that will contribute to the easy sharing of thoughts, ideas, and experiences between people with BPD and without. Please feel free to let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to incorporate that would make this resource more usable for you!

And finally…. To get there!

Or go up to the page bar right under my blog title at the top of this page. The last link on the right will take you to the BPD Forum page!

That’s all there is to it. Let me know what you think or if you think this will be useful to you. 

I encourage you to go to the the Introduce Yourself section and say hello! That way people know you're there and can possibly gain some insight into you and your story! Get the conversations started! 
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