Rivers are red …

It has been about 8 months since my ex decided he didn’t want me.

It has been about 6 months since I last saw him.

It has been about 0,4 seconds since the thought of this utterly destroyed me.

I have never suffered from suicidal ideation; I either did or I didn’t feel suicidal, I am unused to struggling with it on a daily or weekly basis.

It’s hard to write about because it feel like crying wolf. I have read repeated posts in forums that claim it is emotional manipulation and that is the very last thing I want to do … but I am really struggling to find a way through today. I haven’t just lost my love, I have lost everything, my books, my clothes, my pictures of my children, my past .. all gone. I have nothing. And I am not growing and learning from this, I am stuck and grasping/gasping. I have lost everything and it is all my own fault. How does one reconcile that? Truth is, one doesn’t.

I have only tried to kill myself 3 or 4 times in the past, and each of those times had an inevitability that I am unconvinced is here today — perhaps that says something — perhaps I am only at the wishing stage and won’t move past it?

But I feel like I am drowning right now and I am unsure how to stem the tide — something has to give, and all I have to offer is me.


Getting ‘better’

I am kinda dysregulating tonight, hence the multi-posts. 

Exploding-head

 

I have been reading posts on forums devoted to recovery from relationships with pwBPD and many of them express a distaste re the reluctance of those of us with BPD to ‘do the hard work’ of therapy. If only they knew.

How can we explain that it is extremely difficult to hear that our reality is ‘wrong’ and that we need to ‘fix’ it in order to be considered a worthwhile person?

It’s not that I don’t want to stop the crazy that is my life, but letting go of my beliefs, behaviours and thoughts is not easy, in fact, it is terrifying. My behavioural patterns were built when I was a small child and they were built for a reason; to protect myself. To be told that the way I live is dysfunctional is scary, no matter how true it rings, but even if I am willing to accept that I am less-than astute with my life choices (that’s actually kinda obvious), being told that I can join the ranks of the many and live behind a white picket fence and find bliss is entirely terrifying to me — you are, after all, asking me to give up myself.

We are not lazy or unaware or destructive or devious in wanting to keep what we have — we are just human, like you.


Splitting?

I don’t understand splitting.

oz

I have read the DSMV criteria and I have read others’ accounts but I can honestly say that I haven’t understood how this applies to me. In fact, I assumed this was another one of the criteria that didn’t apply to me.

But, recently, I have begun to realise that I do split … I certainly split my family/friends/colleagues but, because these relationships are all-but meaningless to me, I guess I overlooked them. For me, my BPD comes out in all its glory mainly in romantic attachments and as I say this I really want to emphasise that I mean ALL it’s glory — the self-harm, crazy-behaviour, fear of abandonment etc .. it all comes to the forefront in romantic and sexual attachments. I know that I split/betray/abandon other core relationships but, that doesn’t really bother me, if somebody pisses me off or challenges me or bores me then I move on — but not with my romantic partners, with them, I am stuck, and I ruminate and I self-harm and I cannot let go. They are more affective if you like.

I have thought about how I don’t seem to split my ex’s. It doesn’t matter how they have treated me or how terribly things ended, I don’t automatically split them black and just ‘move on’ like (apparently) most pwBPD do.

What I have come to realise is that I DO actually split black — only, I split myself black.

When I am (inevitably) discarded, abused, abandoned by yet another lover, I continue to adore them and hate myself. I hold myself (and am currently holding myself) accountable for everything that went wrong. I am not young/pretty/thin/amusing/healthy/stable/whatever enough to have held the attention of my lover. I am disgusting, revolting, dirty, hideous, sad, empty, unlovable and deserve everything that is happening. How could someone as wonderful as my love object ever be attracted to someone like me beyond the initial infatuation?

This always manifests physically as well. I go from being reasonably fit and functioning to being addicted, overwhelmed and at the mercy of my emotions and circumstances. How have I not seen this before? I am not speaking in metaphors here, I have literally gone from being on the top of my game to being all-but homeless; from being attractive, educated and charming to a dithering nothing who can barely function.

carnivale2

 

I am unsure if this realisation is good/bad/indifferent — it’s just another recognition that I am far from healthy where love is concerned I guess.


Measuring my self-worth through POF

My ex frequents POF (internet dating site).

 date

I don’t know if he used POF while we were seeing each other, but I do know that he used it when he began to devalue me; and that he used it to cheat on me.

I actually knew about his profile because he showed it to me and assured me that he had the profile only to assure his then live in GF that he was looking far and wide (and not just at me) and because he had shown it to me, I assumed it meant nothing. Stupid, stupid girl.

When we split, he used to spend hours and hours on the site and although this made me sick in the beginning, I came to see it as a reassurance because, if he was on POF then he wasn’t ‘happy’ with his current conquest right?

I checked and check his profile every single day because it made me feel secure that he was not entirely happy with whoever he was courting fucking.

Yeah, you know where this is heading.

A few weeks ago, he stopped checking his profile every day, and then, he stopped checking it at all. And I am freaking out because this ‘obviously’ means that he has found-the-person-that-is-not-me-and-she-will-make-him-happy-and-is-worth-his-love-and-devotion-and-it-was-obviously-me-all-along-and-why-doesn’t-he-love-me?

He stops checking a stupid dating site and I want to kill myself.

And they say we are fickle and have no idea how to love with longevity — what a joke.


Why pwBPD withdraw

withdraw

Many of us with BPD don’t rage or scream or anything of that nature. 

We don’t explode, we implode, and although you don’t see it manifest on the outside, it is no less destructive and painful for either of us.

I never thought too much about my withdrawals, I knew that when in a ‘fight or flight’ situation I would always run and I figured it was just who I was and how I handled (or didn’t) emotionally volatile situations.

The degree of my disappearance depends upon what prompted it and if I truly want to try to come back. If I am done with the person/situation then, I’m probably not coming back, at least not for a few years. But if I love you, and I want to fix things, then I will try to contact you – soon.

Why do we withdraw?

Because we are afraid of how deeply we feel about you and that you don’t feel the same way about us. Or, if you do, it won’t last forever and you may have given us a small sign that we don’t matter as much to you as we did last week, or last night, or this morning and we panic and shut down.

Logically, we know that it would be better to voice our fears but we are unable to do that because we are already too vulnerable and have already tried that when we were young and we know it won’t work. Many of us were ridiculed, abused, ignored, left or humiliated by the people who raised us for trying to express our feelings and made to feel selfish and dirty for even having them and so, we never learned how to do it.

Upsetting feelings such as fear, anxiety, loneliness and pain all get lumped together and all we feel is ‘bad’ and we know that ‘bad’ feelings get punished so, we try to repress those feelings and we start imploding because we don’t know how to let them out in a productive way, or in any way. It’s why many of us self-harm; because there are just so many unnamed feelings bottling up inside that something has to give way.

When I am dysregulating, I am driven by nothing but fear. I may not have a clue what I am really feeling, but I do know that it has triggered something overwhelming and I have to get away from the source of that trigger or I will, quite literally suffocate and die. That’s what it feels like. I love you too much to be able to bear you or the thought of losing you and I don’t know how to both love you and live with the fear of losing you simultaneously.

When it is happening, when the flight response kicks in, I don’t even realise what I am doing. Every situation feels isolated and individual and I feel entirely correct and justified by my withdrawal. It is only afterwards, when I have settled down that I find myself feeling stupid or ashamed of my own reaction —  it’s only then that I start to consider if I can find my way back to you, or if I have ruined everything again.

Each time this happens, it is a massive leap of faith to go back to you. I have to trust that you won’t hold it against me, and I have to trust that my reaction was wrong – that you do love and want me. I have to override my own certainty that everyone who loves me will try to hurt me because that is what I know; love equals pain.

Why don’t we just ‘stop’ the behaviour and try to talk things through?

Because it is, quite literally, impossible.

First of all, when we becomes overwhelmed like that, we are in a primitive protection mode. As children we had to find a way to protect ourselves from the people we loved most and as they were our caregivers and we couldn’t physically leave, we learned to absence ourselves emotionally. When we recognised that the humiliation, disapproval or withdrawal of love came because we had expressed need, we learned not to express any needs so we could avoid the consequences of having them. We learned that it was shameful to have needs and that our needs didn’t matter to anybody, let alone those who were supposed to be loving and protecting us.

Because we spent our formative years avoiding our feelings and possibly punishing ourselves for having any, we didn’t ever focus on what we were feeling or learning to distinguish between feelings, so anything negative just got pushed back down again into ourselves with all of the other ‘bad’ feelings and on it went, until it became who we are.

I don’t ‘talk’ about my feelings because I don’t know what I am feeling. I don’t have the words to explain my feelings to you because I never learned how. It’s not that I ‘won’t’, it’s that I can’t.

The worst part of this for many of us is that ‘love’ is caught up in in this emotional soup bubbling within us. Love feels like a ‘bad’ emotion because it was love that made us vulnerable to the humiliation, abuse and shame we experienced as children; if we hadn’t loved our caregivers, they could never have hurt us. To many of us, love means pain and shame, no matter how much we want it not be so.

Abandonment doesn’t just mean you go away. 

BPD is an abandonment-based disorder. But when we experience abandonment, it doesn’t always mean that someone had physically left, or that we think they will,  sometimes it just means that we fear being left emotionally to deal with our shit on our own, yet again. We often become mute and can’t ask for the help or understanding that we need from you.

Yes, we know that we often cause the very abandonment that we are terrified of due to our own withdrawal and acting-out, but when you are reacting on instinct, it doesn’t help to know that, it makes no difference whatsoever. We push you away because we know at a fundamental level that you will (inevitably) go away. Sometimes you physically leave, sometimes you drift away by not recognising that we need you desperately.

But in our withdrawal and silence, we are hoping you hear us.

 


Wrecked …

I haven’t cried since Monday during my psych visit.

Family-Guy-gifs-Cl96

I am pretty sure that’s a record for the last 6 months or so. In fact, I had crying on my to-do list because it had become central to my day and I figured it was better to get it out-of-the-way sooner rather than later so I could get on with everything else that needed to be done.

I also actually stopped and looked at some boots while out shopping for food and while that may sound innocuous, I have lived in Sydney for around 7 months without buying a thing so, all things considered, it’s a small step for mankind and all.

Oh. I also stole an electric blanket (this is a confessional post after all). I score up into the stratosphere with risky behaviour – tick all boxes except sex … although, even that isn’t true – when the ex and I first met in person (after a few months as online-only), we met for sex. No coffee, no polite conversation, just hard sex – my idea, my choice .. so, I guess that was risky.

I am still drinking far, FAR too much than I should be .. I mean, it’s out of control.

I have never had a drinking issue until this past year-or-so. I always looked down upon alcohol as a last resort. I have used and abused many, many drugs in my time and truth-be-told, I would rather be using and abusing drugs right now but .. new city= no contacts = take what I can get. I don’t think substance abuse is going away anytime soon for me .. I NEED to change my reality every single day and unlike the effect of mood stabilisers, antipsychotics or (Yoda forbid), SSRI’s, I am not hankering to feel ‘normal'; I need to feel detached. Being normal is like a proxy death sentence to me, it’s like I get put on mute and I become this semi-functioning member of a society that I know for a fact is corrupt, egocentric and destructive.

 


You know you’re BPD when …

You’ve had occasion to make this cake, possibly more than once :P

arrested


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