Friday, January 11, 2013

Lucid Analysis: Trials in therapy – Heartbreak after the fact


It seems just shy of forever since I went to therapy. Stupid holidays. I’d actually been doing pretty okay for a bit there. Then Monday happened.

::sigh::

I’ve been chatting with Tech Boy a little more often lately. Amicable, nothing intense. Then it started happening a little more. Then he’d try to catch me on Diablo 3 to do some quests.  Then he started stopping by my office, yanno, just because [some excuse]. I knew what was coming. I could feel it. It doesn’t take my rocket science to figure that out.

So Monday night while I was trying to forget reality by killing a bunch of demons with my newly created combat Monk (which is interesting because I’m not typically a melee fighter. It’s interesting I promise) he texts me. Apparently he was in a wine mood (newp, he’s a beer guy, I’m the wine drinker, somethings wrong with this picture warning lights flashing). And then.


Tech Boy: I miss ya Haves. < ---- Not a typo.

Me: Don’t call me that (he thinks it’s funny, it’s not.) I miss ya too. We were a big part of each other’s lives for a while.

Tech Boy: That might be what I’m feeling. Just a hole missing. LoL I’m sorry. Please keep killing the undead and don’t listen to my drunken ramblings.

Me: I can manage both. I just owned Belial.

Tech Boy: Idk. It’s just been lately that the thought of getting you back has been crossing my mind… But I’m still unsure if that’s a good idea.

Me: I like having you in my life but idk if that’s a good idea either. I can’t say I haven’t thought about it but that doesn’t change why we broke up in the first place.

Tech Boy: I know. I want to say I’m a better person….


And so it went on with me trying to gently deflect without hurting him, trying to remain friendly, but not misleading…. And ending up, somehow, agreeing to dinner tonight.

And I have been an utter wreck ever since. It doesn’t help that I missed my meds this weekend so I was already feeling the depression and total mood swingyness. Tuesday night I was ruminating so much that I drove myself into a fit of tear filled insomnia. Fail. Fail hard.

Why do people do that! It makes so uncomfortable! I can feel it coming on too. All last week I could tell. I was just waiting for the freaking ball to drop. ::head desk::

When we were together I tried. I tried well past the point where I knew I should have been done. Therapist says that one of my strengths is that I do everything I can and more before letting go. Frankly though, I give and I give and I give and I give more than I really have, and by the time I can’t give anymore, I’ve been done for too long. When I finally let go, it’s beyond over for me. There’s nothing left for me to go back to and nothing left that I want. If I’m honest there really wasn’t much that I wanted there in the first place. We are just not right for each other. At the very least, he’s not right for me.

That doesn’t mean I want to hurt him more though. I know how hard it is for him to express feelings and talk about stuff like this. Opening up is like a whole new trail for him. He’s clearly still holding a torch for me, as evidenced by his telling me, and I don’t want to make it worse for him. I do still care, but I can’t lead him on and I can’t do this to him or to me. The problem is in being gentle he hears encouragement. Not saying a direct no no no, he hears maybe let’s see.

Half of therapy was spent talking myself up to doing what I needed to do, and when. Because fun thing, we have a group lunch party today for hitting a major milestone! So I had the choice of not saying anything until after lunch today and letting him believe all last night and all through seeing him at the party to make the work function less awkward OR I could not let him get his hopes up more and tell him last night making work pretty uncomfortable.

I have to say I’m impressed. 3 months after we break up and it’s the first time any of our relationship has caused a strain at work. Sigh.

So I chose last night. “I like you a lot and I don’t want to lead you on. I like the thought of having you as my friend but I don’t want to get back together. I don’t think that would be best for either of us.” He didn’t fight me on it, he took it as well as I could have expected, but he clearly wasn’t happy. I feel like an asshole, but if I had gone ahead it would have just been even harder, right? Ugh.  

I was worried that if I had gone out with him I might give in, because I tend to do that. I just, needed to not do that.

It sucks.  I’m tired.

Therapists thinks I handled my decision well. That I’m learning to handle these things from a much better frame of mind and give my own needs the priority they deserve… instead of only  worrying about what other people need.  

She thinks I’m on a good track to figure out what it is that I want for my life. I might not have it figured out completely, but I’m certainly learning what I don’t want and learning to maintain those ideas without letting them go in favor of what others want. Which is good because that inspires less anger and a whole lot less resentment from me. Progress.

I’m enjoying being single for the time being. It’s giving me time to work on strengthening, and just enjoying, my friendships. The people I let into my life are very important. Almost as important as the people I don’t allow into my life.

When the time’s right I’ll be more attuned to the kind of person I need in my life. It’s kind of funny b/c she always gets a little flustered when she says someday I’ll find Mr. or Mrs. Right. It’s funny. We talked about my sexual fluidity a bit. I do tend towards women (which isn’t reflected nearly as well as I wish it was in my NY dating history) but it really comes down to who a person is. ::sigh:: Unless I’m lonely and not expecting a relationship, then guys tend to be more convenient. But. I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to have a completely functional relationship with a man. I don’t trust men. Sometimes I flat out get angry at them as a whole separate species. This doesn’t usually last long b/c I do know some great guys, but on some level men make me uncomfortable. I’ve had too much trauma and too much deceit, too much abuse. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it completely.  I don’t have those problems with women.

Idk. Maybe if I work on this long enough it’ll become easier for me. My guard goes up automatically around men. I know I’m good at covering this that people don’t realize it but everything they say to me is suspect. Everything.

Sometimes it’s just easier being single. I don’t want to be alone forever though. Therapist thinks I have a good chance of being able to find someone and to develop a healthy relationships without my problems inhibiting me. Because I’m working hard to heal so my issues don’t continue to be a problem.

All I need to do now is get out of my house and figure out how to meet someone I’m compatible with. Which is amusing b/c the next public venue I know I’ll be at is someplace I’ll be doing full Star Wars cosplay haha. Victorian Boba Fett style. Hey, if I meet somewhere there, I know they probably won’t be turned off by my geekery. Also, if I have to introduce you to Star Wars, we’re clearly incompatible. That much I learned from Tech Boy. J/k. Mostly.

::sigh:: All I know is I do feel relieved that I’m not going to dinner tonight.  Still feel like an ass though. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Irrational Jealousy and Borderline Personality Disorder: Part 1


Today I’m moving to a natural extension of Rejection Sensitivity. Jealousy. We’ve all felt it. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot. Maybe so much so, all the time, that we’re now constantly paranoid that our partners will leave us or are doing things behind our back that it becomes a pervasive thought that we can’t shut down or stop.

 Jealousy is “simply” the intolerance of rivalry or unfaithfulness, or the disposition to perceive these things in human relationships. The definition sounds “simple” but jealousy is a complex emotion.  When you experience jealousy it’s often a combination that includes negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that you values, particularly in the arena of human connection and relationships. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust.

Jealousy is a reactionary emotion. Meaning, they occur as a reaction to an event that has occurred. At least, that’s how it typically occurs. When there is a perceived threat, or an actual threat, to our values, jealousy can be a natural and normal emotional response. Negative feelings like jealousy, envy, anxiety, etc., have an necessary evolutionary reason; to let you know that something is wrong so that you can take action and fix it. However they can become a problem when they become unmanageable and the behaviors inspired by these emotions get out of control.

Irrational jealousy is jealousy that has no basis in fact. In other words, the individual perceives situations as meaning that their partner is likely to reject them when the partner has no intention of doing so. Thus, irrational jealousy is a thinking style in which an individual evaluates a situation negatively and makes assumptions base on that evaluation. Those assumptions are usually related to losing their partner due to a rival.

This article from ExcelAtLife explains it pretty well. The thing to keep in mind is this happens to a lot of individuals, those with BPD and those without. The problem when this happens with BPD is that we tend to experience them much more intensely. One a scale of 1 to 10, for us it’s turned up to 11. So these feelings can get out of control and go on the rampage pretty quickly if we’re not aware of where they’re coming from.

*** It doesn’t happen for everyone. I’m not a typically jealous person. Unless I have a real concrete reason to be jealous – like with Evil-Ex and The One and their cheating and sneaking around, then it does tend to run away with me and become destructive. I do feel a little bit of jealousy at other times, but I’m not very reactive about it, so it’s not my particular vice. ***

“All emotions are normal. An emotion in and of itself is not irrational. However, what we decide based upon our emotions can be irrational and lead to destructive behavior. Although certain behaviors related to an emotion can create problems, the emotion itself may have some validity. The purpose of emotions is to provide us with information. Once we have the information, we may then choose appropriate action. However, as with any information, emotions may be misunderstood. How we make sense of an emotion may not always lead to the accurate meaning of the emotion. Therefore, our chosen actions may not resolve the problem the emotion brought to our attention, or may even create additional difficulties.

Frequently, I am asked how to handle irrational jealous feelings. Usually, the individual recognizes that their feelings are unreasonable with no valid evidence but feels incapable of controlling the jealousy. In addition, the person usually recognizes the destructive nature of indulging in the feelings and the resulting behavior. Such behavior typically involves excessive questioning of their spouse, suspiciousness, and accusations. Many spouses become extremely frustrated with this behavior because they have no way of proving their faithfulness. This leads to an escalating cycle of anger which is used as further evidence by the jealous spouse that her suspicions are correct.

The jealous spouse often desperately wants to stop the behavior but finds that they can't control the thoughts which makes them feel miserable. That spouse believes that if they can just prove those suspicions one way or another, he/she will feel better. The unfortunate fallacy in this thinking, is that trust can never be proven; it can only be disproved. The definition of trust is the belief that something is true. Therefore, without evidence to the contrary, if we want a satisfying relationship, we have to choose to trust the person we love.

One of the most difficult things for human beings, in general, is not knowing something with 100% certainty. We are often afraid to trust because we are fearful of disappointment and hurt. Therefore, we go through extreme contortions to try to protect ourselves from the possibility of loss and pain. Yet, these attempts to protect ourselves may actually be the means with which we destroy that which we are trying to preserve. For example, a woman may eventually destroy her marriage because she is too fearful to take the chance of trusting that her husband is faithful. As a result, she causes the loss and pain that she was trying to prevent.”

These are things I’ve talked about a lot before. When you’ve grown up with an internalized sense of abandonment, an expectation of rejection, you’re already locked and loaded for something bad to happen. When you’ve grown up with emotional, mental, physical, and sexual abuse you’re even more inclined to expect those, and your ability to trust and have faith in people is already depleted; Trust Debt.

I think this is something that can often get in the way of our relationships. Especially when you’re prone to paranoia (DSM criteria 9 for BPD) and codependency (or any combination).  When you are paranoid or fearful that your loved one is acting in a way that could lead to an actual/perceived abandonment or rejection, especially if you tend towards codependency, it’s like the foundation for your entire world could be kicked out from under you. It’s no longer just about that one incident, it’s the basis of your current existence that feels shaken. That can quickly lead to anxiety, tears, anger, shame, all out rage…. None of which tend to be helpful in figuring things out and working through the situation. They are good for impulsive aggression though, lashing out in the moment, and panic attacks.

I think one of the communication problems that we often have with our loved ones is that when we seemingly flip out about something that should be pretty innocuous… to them they only see the current situation and the issues relevant to the current scenario… to us we see those things, but we have a whole history of subconscious and ingrained reflexive emotional responses. For us, the current situation may not be that bad, but something about it is triggering and brings up all that emotional history. This isn’t a justification for lashing out and behaving poorly. It’s important to learn to control that b/c let’s face it, it never makes the situation better. But there’s a fundamental rift between what they see as relevant and what we feel as relevant. It takes time, mindfulness, and practice to learn to distinguish between what emotions are being triggered from the past and what emotions are inspired and  relevant to the current situation. (By relevant I don’t mean invalid, they are real emotions, but there is a difference between emotions from the past and emotions inspired for a separate event.)

It’s important to learn to recognize this because unfortunately Irrational Jealousy is often combined with its friends Destructive Jealousy and Controlling Jealousy. But we’re not gonna go there yet. Then we’ll look at some causes for this. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trust Debt


Developing a trusting relationship when you have Borderline Personality Disorder can be difficult. There’s never truly a clean emotional slate. I don’t honestly believe that’s true of any human being. We all have a past and experiences that contribute to the person we become. Everyone has emotional baggage. When you have Borderline Personality Disorder you don’t just have baggage, you have a storage unit. Being able to wade through our emotional past to move into a new chapter of our emotional future is difficult. We’re hyper-sensitized to what we’ve experienced in our past. When you have tried and been confronted with so much pain, loss, and abuse, our ability to trust shatters. Not only does it feel like the our trust has broken for the current relationship, but  it’s like we’ve created a trust debt.

You start off with a certain ability to trust. Every negative experience, every bad encounter, every experience of abandonment and rejection is like having your trust stolen by an emotional mugger.  You begin to become sensitized to it. Instead of getting used to it, you feel each new experience quicker and more intensely. Until you’re feeling those problem feelings before they’ve even occurred, when they might not occur. The mere perception of those problems can be the trigger pulling away that remaining trust. Now multiply that by the fact that the people that betrayed that fragile developmental trust were the people that a person should be able to trust. Your mother, your father, your first love, relatives and close family friends.... when the people that should treat you with kindness and care for you, are the people that destroy your ability to trust in the first place; it taints the experience with any people that you're "supposed" to trust. The way that love can translate to pain when all you know of love is pain... translates to trust as well. When all you know of people that you "should" trust, is betrayal, all you know to expect is betrayal. 

Refilling that bank is so much more difficult than depleting it as well. So difficult it can feel impossible. No matter how many good things happen, it’s like they just sit on the surface. They sit outside the vault door to be swept aside when it’s opened up, but never contribute to filling up that hole of debt.

Sometimes you can go into a relationship tentatively, but receptive to a potentially positive outcome. Hell, we can rush headlong into it without realizing we need to consider what we’ve been through. Eventually we hit the wall though. Usually it’s when we realize we’re starting to open up to a person and express those vulnerabilities we need to protect. Our source of trust is already depleted, sometimes to the point of being non-existent. All that exists is a thin sheet of ice that we’re carefully dancing around, trying to avoid falling through, b/c instead of a nice watery pool to buffer the fall… all that exists is a deep void of nothingness.

Unfortunately at the very first sign of less than honest or trustworthy behavior, which can often be a misperception on our part due to so many reasons (but not always! Bad people do happen), there isn’t much of a buffer to soften the blow.

Developing trust at the beginning of the relationship is extremely important. If trust is broken early on, if that idealization turns into a rapid fire situational devaluation, we don’t have anything to support our hopes of a positive outcome in the future on. All we know is the negative.  Rebuilding that trust takes 2, 3, 10 times as long as it took to break it, and it never quite reaches that level before. It just gets lower and lower and lower and lower every time. 

When you’ve had this experience since childhood, it’s no wonder we bring this into our adult relationships. It’s not necessarily fair though. Some people are very decent and well intentioned. The people in our future, hopefully are not the people that hurt us in our past. That’s something we really need to keep in mind. Be mindful of our past experiences, because there are lessons and warnings we should not forget so we don’t repeat those bad relationships. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that this is a new person, not the person that has done this to you before. Easier said than done, it takes time and often years of therapy to be able to do this successfully, but if we can keep it in mind, even if we don’t feel it…. Maybe we can make it a little easier to fill up a bit of that trust debt which we’ve accumulated in the past. Add a little bit more of a buffer to our present and future relationships. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Gloss: I Was An Angry, Psychotic Teenager


xRoommate sent me this article over the weekend. She said it reminded her of some of the experiences I’d talked about… and she was right. I thought it would be nice to share, in the sense that if you’re like me, you may relate in some ways, but also… things have gotten significantly better for her. She doesn’t claim to be specifically Borderline, but reading through this was hard for me to not see the indications.

I Was An Angry, Psychotic Teenager
Author: Samantha Escobar


As a young child, I was what people might call precocious: I loved talking to strangers about how my hair was “naturally curly,” I would run around my parents’ parties and dance to the “Macarena” for everybody, and I was just generally outgoing. But I was also frustrating: It was difficult to get me to calm down when excited, nearly impossible to change my diaper and even harder to get me to sleep — a problem I still have today. And I absolutely hated being told what to do, which made everything incredibly hard for my parents. In fact, it was hard for well over a decade. 

Sometime around age 4 or 5, my brother and I were being babysat by a woman in her 40s who was an occasional substitute teacher at my school. As the daughter of a librarian who values books higher than just about anybody I know, I learned to read pretty early on and absolutely loved doing so. I would try to read anything I could get my hands on, even attempting Jane Eyre in the third grade (I gave up after three pages during which I referenced the dictionary for every sentence).

On this particular day, I attempted to read some small yellow book that my mom had left out. My babysitter told me that it was higher than my reading level and put it in a drawer I couldn’t reach. I didn’t know the word “patronizing” back then, but I already understood that I hated it when people did not seem to take me seriously. So, as a result, I tricked her into going outside (I insisted to her that our cat had escaped), yelled something unkind, shut the door and locked it. Three hours later (this was before the age of cell phones), my parents returned home and saw what I had done. Naturally, they were displeased, but I explained that I was simply angry about not getting what I wanted, which I assumed justified the act completely.

So, fast forward to my teenage years: after an unfortunate experience in middle school, I became angry. Really angry. And I didn’t want anybody to come between myself and that anger. Normally, I hate discussing these years because I find them both embarrassing and incredibly regrettable, but with all the talk of what Adam Lanza’s mother could have done and how terrifying it is to be close with an angry teenager (or any other age, for that matter), I have decided that it’s important for me to discuss the topic and share my own perspective.


Around age 13, my feelings began to bubble. It started slowly: I would get stressed out when my mom would say something that upset me. I would sulk until she apologized and took it back. Then, I became frustrated. If my brother wanted to listen to classical music and I preferred Letters To Cleo, I would grunt and complain and insist that we change it. Soon after, the frustration morphed into anger. If my father told me to do something that I didn’t deem necessary or desirable, I would yell at him, trying to reason but also hoping to scare him off the subject. A little while later, the anger became rage. Uncontrollable rage.


Suddenly, when I was upset, I was livid. I would regularly get into screaming matches with my parents and threaten to hurt myself unless they gave into my demands. If they refused, I would proceed to inflict violence on my own body — something I plan on elaborating on at a later date, but for now, I will simply say that I tried to break my own nose at one point and still have a large amount of scarring up and down the left side of my body.

While I didn’t hit my parents, I was abusive in that I used the violence against myself to control their actions. It often failed — after a while, I think they grew tired of the never ending, steeply uphill battle to prevent me from cutting — so I upped my behavior and would threaten to kill myself. I would leave razors on the counter to make sure they knew what I was doing. I didn’t necessarily take joy in knowing how horribly sad I am not certain I made them, but I didn’t stop myself from hurting their feelings, either. I knew right from wrong; I just didn’t care enough to stop myself from committing the latter. There was always a justification to break their hearts, just as there had been one for locking the babysitter out of the house.

Some might say that my situation was different because I had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which often leads to depression, anger and violent and suicidal behavior. In actuality, however, I was already angry well before anything violent happened to me. Was it my parents’ fighting or my dad’s temper or being bullied that made me this way? Maybe, but I think it was also simply engrained in my brain to be unhappy, stubborn and easily upset. Learning to control that aspect of my personality would likely have been necessary regardless. Plus, when I was sexually assaulted again mid-college by a supposed friend, I had by then learned to deal with my issues differently (albeit not “perfectly” by any means).

In the tenth grade, my parents forced me to switch schools because, since the second grade, I had developed an increasing terror of attending school and thus refused to leave the house on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. When I transferred to a smaller independent school with teachers who actually gave a shit about their students (whereas my previous ones barely knew our names), I found myself much happier. Though I was still very depressed on a regular basis, I was at least enjoying the time I had in school (for the record, I had good grades and actually did all of my work!).


Unfortunately, after another unpleasant incident, my rage returned — I think it was the only response I knew how to have to protect myself from becoming more depressed — as did my PTSD. This time, however, my parents better knew how to deal with it and were more supportive in my healing process.

The fight against my behavioral and mental disorders included numerous routes: multiple failed medication regiments, well over ten doctors and counselors, EMDR, punishment, alternative medicine…most of which were completely futile and far more trouble than they were worth, but they had to be tried. There were plenty of times when I convinced everybody — even myself — that I was “all better.” I even used to get the nurses at a program I was in for my bulimia and self-injury to tell me about their problems, as well as let me do their makeup. Most 16-year-olds are pretty excellent at lying about how they feel; I chose to lie about things that would allow me to maintain my freedom.

People are uncomfortable around mental illness, and often do not realize that just locking away a kid in an institution until they’re 18 is typically not the best (let alone only) solution. For parents of a child who is mentally ill, it is extremely difficult to handle them, but it is potentially even harder to acknowledge the need for assistance.

In Jen’s article, she referenced a comment made on Gawker by a particularly fed up person:

If you have a child that you know is capable of committing mass murder you have a responsibility to contain them by whatever means are necessary. Your child assaults you? Press charges. Medicate them. Even if it turns them into a zombie. Have them committed to a mental institution. Even if it’s a shitty one. Can’t get them into one? Lock them in their bedroom. Surrender them to the state. They threaten to kill themselves? Let them. Because one day they will kill you. And your other children. And perfect strangers. Just because all the choices are shitty it doesn’t mean that you don’t have choices. Pick one. Do something because they are your responsibility.

While I fully understand the “protect everyone else at all costs” perspective, I also think that this is clearly a person who does not know how difficult it is to send away your own child (or other family member). Yes, they may be angry and horrible and cruel, but that does not make it any easier to lock them up. It may be necessary at some point in order to protect yourself, the rest of your family or even the outside world, but it will never be an easy decision and cannot be regarded so flippantly as though it’s some quick and simple choice.

People often blame the parents (though, to be fair, abuse in households can certainly contribute to violent tendencies), but the difficulty of having a child whose not well is often forgotten or pushed aside. Nobody wants to believe that just about anybody’s kid can be like this. My parents fed and clothed and loved my brothers and I; it wasn’t their fault that I was sick.

I have since apologized to my parents, especially my mom. She used to drive me around the neighborhoods near my high school when I would refuse to get out of the car and we’d end up having great talks that calmed me down, often allowing me to stop freaking out long enough to finally go to class. She dealt with my crying and screaming and violent behavior, and never stopped telling me she loved me no matter what horrible words I said or what I threatened to do to myself. If she had abandoned hope and refused to support me — as many parents likely would have, and justifiably so — I can only imagine what kind of person I might have ended up being, or what condition my life would be in now.

We now have an overall fantastic relationship and, though we hit our potholes every now and again, I was even quite sad to finally move out of my parents’ house this week after staying with them since graduating in June. We always link arms when walking anywhere and I do as many errands and favors for her as possible, perhaps as a way of desperately trying to make up for the time when I made things so hard.

"Seriously, we're actually kinda adorable nowadays."


So, several years and multiple moves later, I finally started acting more “normally.” In the past couple of years — in particular, the last eight months — I have been able to analyze my life choices and have finally started making better ones. A great deal of that is because I wind up writing about myself on a regular basis, both here and in my private journal, as well as the means by which I deal with my stress. Rather than drinking my problems away, I almost always choose some other route. I acknowledge that sometimes I need medication (though I only take it when about to panic). I take a hell of a lot alone time to process my feelings, thoughts and stress when necessary instead of just pushing myself into attending parties or dates regardless of how I’m feeling.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still crazy, neurotic and weird. I have some bizarre tendencies which can be annoying and/or inconvenient to others. Anybody who meets me can tell you that I am incredibly anxious about offending people (I’m one of those people who apologizes profusely and perpetually, then apologizes again when you tell them not to apologize anymore). When I drink, I occasionally freak out — a quality I am not proud of and have finally been changing. I have had numerous tumultuous relationships. When I’m depressed, I hold an incredible animosity toward myself. Because of all these things, I know I am not perfect, nor would I ever claim — or even hope — to be.

But I have a job, friends, responsibilities, a new home…basically, I’m a functional adult. I pay all my own bills, I’m increasingly organized and I have a pretty stellar job. Most of my scars have been tattooed over; in fact, I even have a (professionally done) scarfication piece on my ribs that I got as a sort of “congratulations” to myself on ceasing the self-harm. I am presently single and intend on keeping it that way for a long time, until I am positive that I can have healthy, strong relationships. Sometimes I mess up, and I may not be completely all right, but I don’t hurt myself or feel the need to constantly scream anymore.

So, as an ex-nightmare child, I can not only tell you not to write off all kids who are incredibly difficult as potential serial killers or lost causes, but also give those parents who are currently dealing with angry teenagers an optimistic perspective to show that their children will likely grow out of this (with a lot of support). Obviously, sometimes that support takes more than two people — sometimes it even takes professional and medical assistance. But it’s possible, so have hope.

----------------------------------------------------------------------


This is what I responded to her:

Yep that sounds a lot like my experience growing up. Except I never used my self-harm and suicidal thoughts to manipulate overtly. I tried to keep those to myself. (I think you're the only person that's seen me in the actual midst of that kind of pain =/ ). And I think I was more paranoid. At some point after high school I went from that angry, psychotic Acting Out, to a deeply internalized Acting In anger, pain, and self-loathing. The Acting Out everyone can see. The Acting In, isn't as obvious because it's all about hiding and protecting the self from others seeing that vulnerability.

Like her I'm really grateful my parents never just gave up on me. It's taken me longer to really get our relationship to a less anxiety ridden place for me, but having that steady support is really important. In the same vein, it's why I'm so grateful for your friendship and your steady presence in my life. I'm not sure I would be as okay as I am now if it hadn't been for the opportunity to live with you in just a calm, caring place. Your friendship means the world to me.


I’ll be the first to admit that my behavior has been atrocious. Especially growing up. Especially in regards to my family. They often got the brunt of it. But they never gave up. We’ve needed our space plenty. I needed my space to work on me, so I could interact with them better later. Often it’s difficult to heal when you in an environment that still triggers you. But they never threw me away and gave up on me completely. I’m very grateful for that. 


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