BPD – Help Wanted

Asking for help.

It isn’t a secret that I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Anyone who reads my page often will see that it is something I suffer from. I find it is a much stigmatised illness too. So many think that sufferers are nasty and manipulative and that people with this illness should be avoided. I have even seen books advising family members to just carry on and that the BPD sufferer will get over it. It hurts inside to see those things.

On the contrary, many BPD sufferers are very kind and giving. They love nothing more than to make someone they care for happy. It is more of an imbalance of emotions that become very intense and the sufferer does not know how to deal with them. Simple things. I often liken episodes of someone cancelling a lunch date with me as having the same emotions as if they told me they are going to die tomorrow. That is how intense it feels inside. I feel helpless in a matter of seconds and I can’t control it. For me, this is where I take hold of my razor and cut into my skin just to get it out. in12_volunteer_help_wanted

My reason for blogging isn’t so much to write about my experience. There is a world of information on the web about BPD by sufferers. It is to talk about the silent sufferers – our friends, partners, wives and husbands, and so on. People who we care about deeply are the ones we lash out at the most. Afterwards, there is such guilt. I know for myself I can get so ashamed of my behaviour. I hurt someone who is very close to me often when I am upset. I make her feel helpless and she doesn’t know what to do to help me. It makes me very sad afterwards when I can think clearly and I have calmed, but it is too late. The marks are carved into my arms and she’s pointing at herself thinking they are her fault.

I have searched so many times, as has she, for something good that can help her to understand what it is I need in those moments, and there is nothing we have found yet. Not a word. All I can do after each episode is tell her what we should have done and maybe we can learn from it. Because of this, I want to write about my journey, but I want to write about hers too. I feel it is just as important. I know also that every BPD sufferer’s illness is different, so I am also asking for some help.

If you have BPD or are a supporter of someone with it, would you be interested in helping with this project? To get some real information out there as to what helps and what doesn’t. Tips and advice. Real stories from real people, not text books from someone who has never been on either end of the illness. You won’t have to have your name in the book if you don’t want to. It would be your choice, but as I write each little bit, I would be wishing for others to contribute what they can from their experience so that we, the BPD sufferers, can help those who support us.

Advertisements

I Want to Show You Something

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Blogging 101 Day Two.

cropped-class-seal_seal-class-of-september-20141

 

I want to show you something. I want you to really see. I want you to understand. Not through your eyes, nor through mine, but through what I show you. I want you to look.
The room, it’s filled with shades of orange and yellow, warm sunlight filters through the curtain from the dusky autumn evening. The sunshine creeps in so much that the smell of the warmth permeates through the room. Evening motes dance idly across each ray that gets through, oblivious to what they are about to see. On the floor, leaning against the wooden box, just in front of a window, is a boy.
He’s sitting there, small and innocent. He’s almost silent, save for the small hiccups that make his body tremor from the crying he’s since pushed down. His tiny arms wrap around his legs, small hands and small fingers try to ease away the fear that’s inside. His head is down, he doesn’t want anyone to see him cry. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he is upset because he’s getting a new brother. He doesn’t want his mum and dad to be taken away. He’s five years old, his parents are his world.
He’s afraid.
Look at him. Look at his face, so small. Look how he bites his lip to keep it from quivering. He doesn’t blink to keep the tears in his young eyes. He’s trying so hard to make himself happy. His dad is happy, so he should be. His dad is happy; he’s going to have another son.
Watch the door. Watch it and see. Cruelty ascends from the darkness below. Hidden behind the face of an ordinary man. Covered in the mask of a love. He gets closer, the heavy footsteps approach, and his evil design in his mind.
Just watch.
Dark intent drips from him with every step. The walks over to the other side of the room first, he turns his back, but don’t look at the man. Look at the boy, look at his face as he swipes away his tears so the man doesn’t see. Did you see?
The man walks over to the boy, crouches down and enquires what’s wrong. He hasn’t been fooled, he sees the boy has been crying. The boy puts his head down, he doesn’t want to say. The man gives a loving sigh and smiles down at the boy. He reaches out and touches the boys hair, soothing him as he invites him to sit on his lap for reassuring comfort.
Maybe I could stop there. Leave it in a moment of care. I want to scream at the boy. I want him to put his arms down. Don’t fall for it. Don’t. Run away. I want to shout until my voice is hoarse and my breath is gone.
Do you see?
Does it not make your heart constrict?
The man had plans all along
Did he not care that it was wrong?
He lifts the boy, picks him up.
Turns him around, slams him down.
His hand over his mouth to stifle his screams
His clothes torn from him, to shatter his dreams.
Listen to the cries of stolen innocence. Listen to the screams as the man violates.
Listen to the sound. How can you stand it? The wail of agony. Pain so deep, it will stay forever. Listen to the sound of those falling tears, I can’t stand it. I cover my ears.
The boy is five
The man doesn’t stop
He doesn’t listen.
After, he stands victorious above the boy.
The boy, broken, bleeding and bewildered. Innocence never knew such evil.
I said I wanted to show you something. I want to show you the boy. Look at the child, curled in a ball. Look at him shaking. Look at his face. Look at his tears. Listen to the way he cries. Look at the way he tries to get up.
Watch as he looks at the man, not understanding.
Watch as the man leaves.
I wanted to show you a day, the say when the sunlight came through the window and evil came through the door. I wanted to show you when the man broke the boy and didn’t care anymore.
I wanted to show you the day a father killed his son, not the living and the breathing, but his soul that is within.
You dad, you are the man and I am the boy.
I wanted to show you.

Twenty Minutes in My Head

Twenty minutes of the thoughts from my head.

I think that my father cannot bear to let me have anything in my life. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. He becomes like some petulant child jumping up and down, screaming what about me?

Well what about you?

It’ll take me a lot to write this and to not allow the anger that is bubbling inside to come out and pour onto this page. I feel the anger from it and him and his words and his … I don’t even know the word to use here right now. But I feel it. I want ti cut it out. Nothing would please me more than to go upstairs to my bathroom and take out the blade I have specifically for my self-harm. letter-writing-pic

He did it again. Like always he comes in and lays waste to my already shaky foundations. He comes along and destroys what is there. It doesn’t matter how much building I do. How much protection I try to put between us, he knows how to shoot for my heart and he does it every time. He doesn’t miss.

I passed my first year of university not so long ago. I got a first too. I was very proud of myself. Of course my father felt he had to come along and claim his prize. Hold me up like some trophy and proclaim to everyone how hard it had been to bring me up. He bowed down graciously and received applaud for his efforts as a father.

I said nothing. It is terrible to say that I hope he has died by the time I graduate. The day I get my doctorate I don’t want him to be here. I don’t want him to take any credit. Even if it is fake. He had nothing to do with my education. I will have done it in spite of him.

He struck again a couple of days ago. Those who have me on facebook will know that there was a new addition to my family. A grandson. He is a little poorly at the moment. He was born early and his bowels were outside of his body, but he is recovering and coming along just great.

Naturally this meant that my attention was focused on my family and on this little guy and his recovery. My father thought or perhaps felt a little left out and along he came once more with his patheticness.

I had just come out of NICU when I received my father’s message. He wanted to know what he was to this baby. If he would have a part in his life. I want to ask him if he is joking. I know what he does with little boys. Does he really expect me to hand over something so innocent to him? He went on to tell me things about someone important in my life – things that I know are untrue. They still hurt to read, though. Not because I believed them, but because this is my father and this is how low he has to go to get my attention.

The closing part of his email was one of pleading. Asking me to end his pain, because apparently that is what I do. I cause him pain with how I am. He’s asked me to say goodbye to him. For him to be able to disown me. He won’t. I get this threat a lot, but it still hurts me every time I hear it. It still tears me apart to know that my father ever wants to hurt me. I don’t know why. I don’t know what I ever did other than be his child.

It all hurts inside and I am not sure how to get it out.

Time Limit on Mental Health Recovery

Why does mental health recovery have a time limit? It’s one of the things that bugs me the most. Many people put into therapy get 4-6 weeks of therapy and then they are cast out into the world again. Some people get 12 weeks if they are lucky, but that seems to be the maximum. Why is it that mental illness comes with such a limit?

Would we treat a cancer patient and say well you’ve got so many weeks of chemo, but after that you’re on your own? Or tell someone who is recovering from something like a stroke that they have 12 weeks to rehabilitate and then off they go to do it themselves? I don’t think so. Why is it okay with mental health? It’s just as debilitating as any other illness. The difference is, is that it can’t be seen.

The reason from my rant today comes from my own experience. When I had taken an over dose those few weeks ago and gone to my doctor after the hospital had discharged me and for the first time I said to someone that I think my thoughts are wrong. I need some help, did I get some and felt relieved.

I was assigned a therapist. I have had therapists before and for various reasons either I didn’t stick or my time was up. This time I tried to give everything I had. I tried to be honest about how I was feeling. I even showed him my many self-harm episodes across my skin. tumblr_mjvm92IrOr1s8qsclo1_500

It was heart-breaking to hear at my last sessions that I only have three left. His manager said I could have 14 sessions. I’ve done 11 so far, because I needed so much, but that’s it for me. I feel let down again. I feel lost again. I keep hearing those words in my head and it makes me upset.

I am not a stupid person, but I am an ill person. I don’t understand how the doctors can say to someone who –

Who is suicidal and has tried many times before.

Who self-harms almost daily (although at the moment it’s been 8 days)

Who has flashbacks, sometimes so bad he has to leave the house.

Who suffers disassociation and often doesn’t know if he is a real person.

Who has BPD and breaks down and wants the world to end at something as simple as a cancelled lunch date.

Who suffers DDNOS and flits between different parts of himself at different ages because he is fragmented.

How can someone with so much to recover from be told they have 14 weeks and then they’re on their own again.

No wonder people don’t tend to get better. You can’t put a time limit on recovery from anything. That includes mental health.

 

Numb

You’ll have to excuse me, it’s a little random.

It’s been a rather weird week, or ten days. I don’t really know, I lose track, things are so hectic. It was my mother’s birthday a few days ago. She would have been sixty. It’s a strange thought. In my mind she is still in her 30’s, that’s where she got frozen.

The weather has been horrendous, a lot of the weather sounds are very triggering for me, lying by the window when I was a child, afraid it was going to blow in, so of course when I lost half the roof to my house a couple of days ago, things like that went through my mind and I felt a little out of it as the parts inside me tried to comprehend things that were going on. numb

It seems like something every day this week. And there have been days I just wished it was over. The power went out for us too, because of the weather, not just my house but an entire two mile radius. I have never seen the streets so dark or my house and there was nothing I could really do about it. I don’t like the dark. I hoped that when I went to sleep, the lights didn’t go out again.

I hope as new storms begin, that my house doesn’t receive any more damage and that we are not plunged into darkness again.

My dad called me yesterday, while the power was out. I am not sure he was talking to me so much, he seemed to not be registering anything I was saying and he was crying. I hate when he cries, it makes me feel such guilt for the way I made the world see him with my books. I feel like I did something wrong. I look in the mirror and wonder how I could have told the world all of those secrets. What is wrong with me to do that to my father?

He was crying because his cancer has spread, he’s been told he probably won’t make the year. I’m not sure how I feel about this, I know many readers will think good, but he is my father still. I write this and all I want to do is cut, because I don’t know how to deal with whatever it is I am feeling. I don’t even know what that is.

All I can think is that he is going to die and he is never going to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. I need him to say it. I need to know it wasn’t me. Not from my readers, or friends, from him. I need to know for real that it wasn’t me who made him that way. I don’t think I will ever get that, though.

His stepmother died a couple of weeks ago and was buried. She’d been his stepmother, my step grandmother from before I was even born. He didn’t tell me she had died. He didn’t invite me to the funeral, even though everyone else went.

When he found out about the roof of my house being blown off, his answer was oops. Not once did he call to make sure we were okay, if anyone was hurt, were the children afraid?

All the evidence is there for me to see that I am nothing to my father, yet I don’t know how to let go.

My older brother contacted me a week ago, the one who was adopted out because my mother hurt him. I haven’t talked to him in years. We talked for an entire afternoon like we had only seen each other yesterday; he has been diagnosed with all the same things as me. He was able to sit and put blame for things in all the right places. I wish I could. I wish I could make the same break he did.

My hands are bleeding as if I have run them along a cheese grater, sometimes I cant move them they are so sore, this is my OCD. The parts inside me are switching so often that some days I don’t even know who it is that stares back at me in the mirror. I woke up this morning and self-harmed because just breathing and getting to the next moment seemed impossible.

Yet with all this. I feel numb.

#TimetoTalk

Today is #TimetoTalk day for mental health, which I agree, it should be talked about, but not just that, if anything, I wish people who suffered, be it the person themselves or a relative, were able to talk freely about mental illness. Even in this day and age, there is stigma, it’s sad that there is.

Anyone who follows my page, has read my books, or friended me on facebook will know that I have mental illnesses, and yes, that is plural, yes I have more than one. Many people do. I didn’t ask for them, but even I am not immune to feeling shame that I have them. It’s funny really, I hate when people get afraid to say, you wouldn’t if you were diabetic or asthmatic. So many with a mental illness think that they should just get over it, or that’s what society sees and it isn’t true. If it were easy to get over, it wouldn’t exist.

PTSD

This is one I have, many people think it is for veterans, but it is for anyone who has had something traumatic happen. For me it means I haven’t slept in a bed for three years because I just couldn’t stand the terror at night. It means I don’t go upstairs at night unless I have to, because I have terrible flashbacks, even though it is a different house.

It means like today, when I am alone in my house, I sit on the floor in the hallway by my front door so that I can feel safe, everywhere else feels like the stuff from my childhood will come back.

Sometimes I used to sleep outside I would get so afraid.

OCD

This is probably my biggest monster. Especially at the moment while I am dealing with a terrible episode of it, my hands are so sore from washing. I’m struggling to eat because everything feels wrong. It’s like that feeling when you forget something, but can’t quite remember what it is, that’s how the obsession feels, for whatever strange compulsion I have that day. Everything from I can’t wear certain clothes and if I try, something bad will happen, to clicking and sounding my words and counting.

It’s probably my most debilitating illness. It steals everything from me. Most recently my love of Starbucks. It has to be a really good day for me to feel brave enough, that somehow my coffee isn’t going to get contaminated, and that contamination won’t bring back the bad man, for me being bad, or make me sick, so I am stuck upstairs, see my PTSD.

It’s like trying to live in a world where I don’t touch anything and nothing ever touches me. It’s impossible. My brain feels like it invents new ideas and problems every day. Only yesterday I stood by my car, scratched my keys into my hand to check of the things I had done, like turn off the lights, put it into gear, and pulled up the handbrake. The scratches stopped me coming back a ton of times and being late for university.

This one has stolen many friends when I have had to cancel plans because going out just doesn’t feel right and I can’t tell them. When I have cancelled too many times, they give up.

Borderline personality Disorder.

This one is the hardest one I think. It is so tarnished by a bad reputation. I saw on amazon the other day, how to stop walking on egg shells and get your life back. It was a very cruel self-help book for people who are friends with a BPD sufferer. It told them to walk away pretty much. Don’t give into the episode the borderline is displaying. I hope that anyone who is in my life never reads it.

BPD should be renamed I survived a narcissist. That’s what it is really. Sufferers tend to be abuse survivors. They tend to have suffered abandonment and feeling so worthless to those who are meant to love them, that now, as adults, they look for every possible sign that this is still true.

For me it means, when someone has to cancel plans on me, or do something that is away from me, I feel like they have just told me they are going to die. It’s a gut wrenching pain inside, it’s so devastating to feel. I can’t control the reaction I have and if the other person leaves, in that moment, that is where the self-harm comes in. It’s how I cope, it’s all I can do to take away the agony I am feeling.

It’s like being 7 years old once again and crying by the road, begging my mum to take me with her.

It’s why I don’t really have friends. It why I am quite. Its why sometimes I stare in the mirror and wish to die. Sometimes I drive my car and think, it’s just a quick flick of the wheel, then it’s all over. The other day, I stood at the train station; I wondered what it would feel like to step forward when the next train came along. Would it hurt? Would it be over very fast? I support button reduced

This illness tells me I am worthless. That people lie to get away from me. That they go away to do things and are glad I am not there. This is the one that says, they won’t come back. They’ll sneak away because I am nothing. This is the one, that if any of you have me on facebook, you may realise, it is rare for me to message first. It is rare that I will say hi first. The reason for that, if people don’t answer, it’s because they want me to go away.

This is the one that makes me cut and starve myself because it’s what I deserve.

DDNOS and Derealisation.

DDNOS is dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. Probably the hardest one to describe, or at least to describe without sounding like I have completely lost the plot. I dissociate a lot. Sometimes I am not sure I am real. Sometimes I am not sure anything is real. It can feel like I am dreaming, as if my words are just an echo in my head. It’s very hard to come back when I float away in my head.

 The other part of this, is that I have many parts. Frozen bits of myself that got stuck at specific ages. Sometimes I do not recognise the face in the mirror, sometimes it is not me at the helm in my mind, but a broken child who is distressed. Some days I am quite, some I am sad and alone, some I am angry.

My therapist told me that what happens when a child suffers abuse, that part of them gets frozen because it never got to process what was happening and so the frozen part breaks off and stays there, suffering, in the agony which it was created.  It used to be an aspect of multiple personality disorder. Sometimes I do not know when I have switched, but I learnt from a friend, I do it often without realising.

This illness is the reason that the Dear Teddy books are out there. My therapist wanted me to give the boy a voice. She said he was obviously trying to talk and I needed to listen.

 

I was in my class at university yesterday, we learnt about counselling and we learnt something that clicked for me.

You are who you are right now, not tomorrow, not when you lose weight, or get better, but right now. That’s who you are and it isn’t wrong.

So this is me right now, quite broken and suffering, someone with these conditions. Someone who fights daily. This is me, it is who I am. It is not wrong.

 

 

You Were Supposed to…

Childhood is supposed to be innocent,1

But you stole mine.

You were supposed to protect me

But you didn’t come when I screamed, you sold me

You were supposed to keep me safe,

But you violated me

You were supposed to care for me

But you made me sick

You were supposed to feed me

But you starved me

You were supposed to clothe me

But you left me undressed

You were supposed to hug me

But you beat me

You were supposed to console me

But you laughed

You were supposed to comfort me

But you turned off the lights

You were supposed to teach me

But you scared me

You were supposed to praise me,

But you made me ashamed

You were supposed to guide me

But you broke my mind

You were supposed to love me

All you raped me.

Love was all I wanted.

I hate you.