Friday, May 10, 2013

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: Endings are Beginnings

I’m going to do something that I don’t usually do today… and not talk about some stuff that I discussed in therapy last night. It was too personal and too rough and I just don’t feel like I can disclose all of the details. I try to tell you guys most of what I talk about (well most of what I can remember, in shortened form… because an hour -75 minutes worth of me +Therapist talking would be just a monster of a blog entry, but yanno, the highlights). I just can’t think about some of it right now. Sorry folks.


Saw Psychiatrist and Therapist yesterday. The Topamax has been nice for me. The only noticeable side effects for me have been not sensing carbonation properly in my seltzer water, a slight tingling in my fingers and toes occasionally, and lowered appetite which I’m not complaining about. My eating disorder aside… I don’t obsess about food lately. This is a new sensation for me. It’s really kind of freeing. I feel like I’m able to handle food like a normal person. Eat when my stomach starts to grumble, and then stop when I’m full. I haven’t been starving myself either. I feel like I’m actually eating like a normal person (in the sense of the whole eating when my body says so and stopping when it says so) and not obsessing and planning and binging and purging.

I’ve even been drinking a lot less.

My irritability and moods swings have been a bit better. My depression is still noticeable though. I’m definitely still down and I’ve long surpassed my usual spring dip. That usually only lasts a couple weeks. It’s been about a month and a half now. So he upped my dose to 200mg. He didn’t want to add a new medication or anything, which I was happy for. 100mg in the morning with my Pristiq and 100mg in the evening before I go to bed. We’ll see how that goes.

Then it was off to see Therapist after work.

I was tired by the time I got to see Therapist. I got to take a couple vacation days from work last week to go home to see my family. My brother graduated with his M.B.A. so I flew in for his graduation to celebrate! Yay little brother! By “little”, of course I mean younger, he’s like a foot taller than me. I’m only 5’3”. It was actually a really great weekend. Usually when I go home, especially on weekends when I get to see my ENTIRE family (aunts, uncles, cousins), it’s especially overwhelming… but there weren’t any really bad moments for me. Most of the time was really good.

My brother picked me up from the airport and we went for a big family dinner. All of the family. This is usually really overwhelming. I only see my family a few times a year. So when I come back home, inevitably, they all want to know all about every single thing that I’ve been up to. They were a bit calmer this time. I didn’t feel so bombarded. Or maybe I was just able to respond better with my continuing practice and mental practice in therapy. It’s been getting easier and easier for me to handle.  Having my brother, sister and my sister’s BF there helps too.

I’m so glad I’m older now. Growing up I didn’t have a good relationship with my siblings. They were always close I believe, but we weren’t. My sister and I bonded a long time ago. My brother and I have definitely gotten much closer too. I’m very grateful for the wisdom of age and the love of my siblings. I really like my sister’s boyfriend too. He’s kind of like a second brother. A very tall, awesomely obnoxious goofy, fun brother. Spoiler Alert: There may be a new addition to the family sometime in the near future in the way of wedding bells and I may have to buy ANOTHER maid of honor dress, haha.

I had some really good conversations that night with my aunt, uncle, and cousin on my dad’s side. My youngest cousin is 11. He’s having some problems in school with bullies. He’s kind of a shy boy that’s quicker to stand up for his friends than himself. Sounds kind of like me. They asked him to ask his cousins (you know, us) about stuff like that. My brother didn’t deal with shit like that. I’m not sure if my sister ever did. I did though. Well. People tried. I was a quiet kid. A book worm. An introvert that kept to herself. I still am often times…. On the surface. Unfortunately for people that try they quickly find out that I am also angry and explosive when pushed. I was a little hesitant to answer their question because I didn’t want to make my aunt and uncle upset at the answers I would give, but ultimately I told them the truth of what I’ve had to deal with. When kids tried pushing me, eventually if I couldn’t ignore it or walk away: I pushed back. Once a bully knows that you’re not as easy a target as they think you are, they tend to think twice about giving you such a hard time. I told him that it’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s scary, but he should be will and able to stand up for himself. He’s worth defending. No one has the right to pick on him and make him feel bad or scared. He needs to defend himself and fight back. I tried to say it as gently and supportively as possible. He’s a good kid. It was heartbreaking to hear that he’s dealing with shit like that.

I didn’t go into graphic detail with the kid there, but when he stepped out to go to the restroom I opened up more to my aunt in uncle. I’ve kicked the shit out people that have tried to take advantage of me, or my sister. I have a long tolerance for bullshit, but once you cross that line my vision goes red and it’s done.

Surprisingly, they completely agreed with me and completely supported what I told him. They said if he was being picked on they would fully support him if he got in trouble for defending himself and be there to back him up in the event that something were to happen at school.

Aside from the couple serious conversations, most of it was lighthearted and just nice family fun. The next day we woke up early to go to my brothers’ graduation ceremony and go out to a big family brunch.

There were one or two moments that were a bit awkward when one of my uncles that I don’t usually see was trying to joke with me, but was being more obnoxious than anything, and I had to remind myself that he was just trying to connect and be playful, not piss me off…so I kept a smile on my face instead of snapping at him and showing my temper.  My mother’s side of the family was always a bit more formal and never around as much. Plus with me being the black sheep rebel they never really knew how to relate to me, so I completely recognize that he’s finally trying to make that attempt and I didn’t want to spoil that. I do appreciate it even if it was completely awkward and I did try to play along. He even expressed that he was glad that I came!

Lots of family progress.

The rest of the weekend was a lot of hanging out with my sister and her boyfriend. There were a few moments when I was a little down and depressed. A few moments when my body image got in the way. I miss having them closer.  There are definitely times I want to move back. I’m so close to so many people here though. I just don’t know where I really belong.

I’m still currently with Tech Boy. I haven’t made a decision either way as to what I’m going to do. I still feel like I’m in the middle of having triggered myself after having told him about The One. I think I’m in the middle of a bit of A Push. I don't usually recognize that I'm in one. I might not even be in one. I might just be at the end of my rope here. 

I don’t think it changes things though.

I have a problem with men. I have a problem with trust. I’m not sure it will ever completely heal.

Tech Boy is comfortable. Tech Boy is safe. He is someone that I feel stable with. But he is also someone that I find myself constantly bored with. I’m not in love with him. I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to spend my life with him. I think this was a healing relationship for me in many ways. It may not be completely over with yet, but I don’t think it’s something that I can keep going much longer.

He on the other hand. Is completely oblivious. He wants to become closer. He started referring to himself as my boyfriend again. Without discussing this relationship status change with me first.  We’ve barely hung out in the last few weeks. We don’t text a whole lot. Last night he said he knows I’ve been going through something and “I need my space” but sometimes he feels left out… when the last time we talked about it, I specifically told him I was coming to him because I was hoping for support and maybe a little sympathy. I flat out told him – Hey, this thing, this is what I need - support. Right here. - ::head desk:: I  don’t know how to be more clear than to spell it out.  I was texting. So there was actually spelling involved.

He doesn’t just want to just be “weekend warriors”. ::sigh:: I don’t really want to see him during the week. I told him it makes me exhausted and unable to function at work when he comes over during the week because I barely sleep. He keeps me up late and wakes me up an hour earlier than usual. I don’t really want to see much of anyone right now anyways. I’ve been working really late (extra extra hours). Going to the gym. Shower/Eat. Clean the condo. By the time I’m done I’m exhausted and I just want to curl up with my cat and do nothing. I don’t want to deal with having to entertain someone else.  

I told him when this started up that I didn’t want a relationship. That I didn’t know what I wanted from this. He needs to discuss things with me. Not make assumptions. We are clearly not on the same page.

I really think I am too emotionally complicated for someone like him. This is my burden. He doesn’t have the maturity to deal with pretty much anything that isn’t baseline “good”. This is his limitation. I’m tired and right now the longer he keeps pushing and pretending that things are okay, despite me telling him directly what I need and that they’re not okay with me, the more irritated I get.  

Therapist doesn’t think I necessarily need to break up with him right away, but she also doesn’t think I need to limit myself. Meh. I’m done. I do think she’s right that I don’t need to limit myself. Frankly I’m disillusioned with the whole idea of dating at the moment. Not disillusioned. Just disinterested. I’m sure there are good people out there. I just, don’t really care very much about getting out there and meeting anyone. I don’t know. Or maybe I do. Talk about ambivalence! It’s just so much effort. And I’m so tired.

On the plus side work has been going great. I’ve been really busy. My focus has been great. I’m been incredibly productive. Every now and again Therapist goes off on a tangent about me getting a new kind of job, branching out, volunteering… something on the side… It’s always like costuming, working in a theaters group… something like that. I hate it. Holy crap woman lay off and give me a break. I live a super high stress life, the last thing I need is a theater company deadline. Taking a hobby that I do on occasion and putting it into a semi-professional environment turns it into something stressful. It would eat up my entire weekends and take away any time I had to relax and see my friends. Just the thought of it makes me cringe and I can feel the anxiety start to rise. I just wish she would stop. I know she wants me to get out and meet people, but she keeps trying to push this same idea that stresses me out even more. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How to get through a breakup when you have BPD

I alluded to having discovered The Secret to getting over an ex and getting through a break up. Well it’s not really that easy, but there are a few things that help. In all honesty it’s going to be different for everyone and it’s never going to be "easy". However there are some things that I’ve found work better than others. 

1.      STOP ALL CONTACT. I’m NOT KIDDING. If you keep talking to them, you keep that flame alive. I don’t care if you ended the relationship saying you would be friends. That’s totally cool. The simple fact of the matter is you need time to get over your ex. It’s no longer your job to take care of your ex. You need to take care of you first. Right now that means soothing your own wounds and taking care of your own emotional wounds.

If you told your Ex that you would be friends let them know that you do intend to honor that but for now you need time to heal on your own. Don’t let them pressure you into contact before you are ready.  

They probably need their space too. You need to respect this. This is something that many of us often have problems with. Boundaries. We need to remember them. Leave them alone if they ask you to keep your distance. 

2.      Delete their contact information. E-mail. Facebook information. Phone Number. All of it. You broke up. It’s done. Just take away the temptation. If there’s an actual emergency ask a mutual friend to contact them. Otherwise you don’t need to get in touch with them.

Trust me. There will be temptations. There will be nights of panic, utter anxiety, extreme loneliness, maybe a little drinking, times when the fingers wander over the texting screen…. You will absolutely regret this in the morning. You’ll be embarrassed, feel humiliated, and ashamed by time the sun comes up. Think about this. You don’t want that.

3.      You need your friends. Call them instead. Selectively. Don’t abuse the ears of your loved ones with your pity party though. In the times when it does get bad though, and you do feel like you’re going to make a really bad or embarrassing decision… instead of calling the Ex, call a friend, call a sibling, call a support hot line, hell, come hop on our Forum over here. In times of trouble you need to know you have a support network.

Beyond that… even if you’re not actively weeping over your ex it’s important to have friends. Having a strong support network. Having good friends, knowing you’re not alone, just knowing that you have someone there when you need them, even knowing you have someone there just because… is important, for everyone, just not for those of us with BPD.  It’s important to surround yourself with people you care about. To remind yourself that you’re loved, cared for. Keep yourself busy. Keep yourself involved in positive, life affirming activities.

When you are down, and/or afraid that you might engage in self-harming or impulsive decisions, or need a stronger support to keep yourself in a more stable frame of mind due to the loss that you are suffering from… do not reach for your Ex. They are now a part of your past. Lean on your current, your present, support network. Lean on your friends, your family, your forum.

4.      Self-care is irreplaceable. You will love again. Take time to love yourself right now. Practice positive self-talk and positive self-affirmations. Be kind to yourself.

5.      Take a few days to wallow. Yeah I said it. Don’t try to suck it up and be tough. You’re allowed to experience whatever feelings it is you’re going to feel. Do yourself and your friends a favor though. Do some of it on your own. Having a girl’s/guys night to watch sappy movies and drink wine, especially if they offer, because that’s what friends are for, or if you’re having a particularly hard night – totally cool… but try not to do it every night. It’s okay to be a little selfish and indulge yourself as you work through the initial stages of grief.

You Are Grieving A Loss! It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to let it all out.

After a few days… start getting back to your regular schedule. Put a reasonable limit on the wallowing. Don’t let it take over.

6.      Maybe get a cat. Or a puppy. Or a ferret. Maybe a rat. Pour some love into the pets you have. Adopt a little furballs in need of love. They need you. You’d be surprised how therapeutic animals are if you don’t have any. This is a lifetime investment though. Don’t think of it as a temporary measure. And don’t do it if you’re not willing to take care of something for the long haul.

It’s super silly, but NOT AT ALL. I love my cat. I never had a cat before I rescued mine. I great up with giant dogs. My dad was allergic to cats. I rescued mine from some guys with golf clubs when I was in college. He was this tiny starving little stray that was about to get beaten. I rushed out of my apartment, scooped him up, and now it’s 7 years later and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Relationships have come and gone… my cat has always been there for me. Knowing that I have him to come home to, to curl up with at the end of the day… when I’m frustrated or upset, he’s soothing and snuggly. He makes everything better.

7.      Remove Memory Triggers. Take down the pictures. Wash your pillow cases that smell like him. Toss out that t-shirt of his you like to wear around. These things will only remind you of your Ex every single time you look at the damn thing. You really don’t want that. You know it. You don’t necessarily have to throw out every single expensive piece of jewelry, but put it away. Don’t put it where you can see it all the time.

8.      Keep Busy! Stay Active. Don’t sit in your room with only your thoughts for company. You know you’ve done it. We tend to mire ourselves in the darkness of our own deep dark depressing minds closed off from the rest of the world. You know who that’s going to help? No one. Get the hell out of there. Grab a friend. Grab yourself. Get a hobby. Just get out and go do something.

9.      Write down the things you are grateful for that you do have in your life. That have nothing to do with your Ex. This is to remind you that there are still good things out there for you.

10.  Get back out there. Move on. Date. See that there are other people out there for you. This helps a ton. Don’t do it too quickly though. That can actually make it worse. When you’ve had some time to recover put yourself out there.

For those of you going the “we can be friends” route” with your Ex.

Don’t even bother trying this until you have moved on. Don’t. This is a recipe for a slow burn… a.k.a.. getting back together eventually when you really didn’t want to.  Maybe not right away, but eventually or by accident one drunken night. And that won’t really be good for either of you and will destroy any progress either of you has made toward emotional healing. If you’re serious about being friends do yourself a favor and don’t try to rush it for the sake of rushing it.

Hope these thoughts help a little bit and bring things into perspective. What things help you? 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quotes from the Borderline

“It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.”

    – George Bernard Shaw

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

     – Neil Gaiman

“We have to believe that even the briefest of human connections can heal. Otherwise, life is unbearable.”

       – Agate Nesaule

…. Fortunately once you’ve lived a little. Once you’ve had a few really low lows, and a few higher highs…. You do learn that things can heal. It’s those first few heartbreaks that are the worst. Simply because it’s those times that you don’t know that you can get through. You don’t yet have the experience to know that the feelings of despair won’t actually consume you the way you feel like they will.


Hey there guys and gals. I’m back I promise! I was out travelling to the mid-west visiting my family and my alma mater. My brother graduated again so I was, of course, there to support him. Very, very proud of him. I missed my family quite a lot. I only get to see them 4 times a year. It’s a bit overwhelming seeing my ENTIRE family even if it isn’t very big (parents, brother, sister, sister's bf, 3 aunts, 2 uncles, 2 out of 3 cousins).  Unfortunately it didn’t leave much time for blogging. I’ll try to make up for it!

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