A moment in a thought

My thoughts, in my life, of adoption and other such things

What does it feel like to be a borderline? September 13, 2009

Thats an interesting question.   And I could answer it in so many different ways.

Its been a long time since I have defined myself as a borderline, an adoptee, an anything really.  For a while now, I have sorta just accepted some semblance of me and described myself as that. But there are parts of me I suppose that may never really go away.

I read about Borderline Personality Disorder and realize that even if per say, I don’t qualify for the diagnosis, what it feels like to be a borderline will never be far from my mind.   I will never forget what it felt like for me.  Hell still feels sometimes.  (although I feel like I need to put a side note here, that I have recovered from having to feel a lot of these things anymore, I am a lucky one)

It feels like being lost.

It feels like not belonging in your own body, in your own skin.  Sometimes its even hard to feel like you really do exist, that this body you live in exists, and that it is somehow connected to you and to the actions that you put it through.

It feels like sometimes pain is the only way to make you FEEL like you exsist again.  Of course I am not talking mental pain, no that is something that is felt on such a deep level, you have to close it off just to remain somewhat functional.  No physical pain, physical pain is the connection to the reality of everything.  Without it, sometimes you can get compleatly lost in the non-reality of the disconnection you feel.

It feels like your mind is disconnected from everything sometimes, like you can’t quite get a grip on anything because there is just no way to grasp it, instead it just slips through your fingers just when you think you might get ahold of it.

It feels as though other people don’t really exsist once they are gone.  As soon as they walk out the door, or hell even just go to bed in another room, it feels like they don’t exist anymore.  Of course somewhere in that rational mind you know they still exist!  But you can’t feel them any more.  Like a light switch that just gets shut off, every feeling you have, every feeling they give you, dissapears as soon as they do.  As if every essance of there very being is gone until you see them again.  And when its that one person, the one that is the center of your world at that moment, Sometimes the pain of just missing someone is so unbelievable, its like the inner parts of your soul will just come apart until you can just know that they exsist once again. So sometimes you pretend they are there, just so you won’t have to feel what it feels like when they aren’t.  And of course, there is that rational brain telling you that you are nuts… and just deal with it.  But the longing is still there, no matter how many times you try to rationalize your way through it, the longing is still there.  The missing is still there.

It feels like lonelyness… because once you are alone, you are ALONE.  You can’t feel those who love you, you can’t feel their love towards you.  After they are gone, its like they don’t love you anymore.  After all, if they are gone, how can their love remain.  Lonelyness is so central, so inside the core, it feels as though you practically are the only person who exsists in the world, and yet that existance is so fragile, so unreal, that the lonelyness becomes your exsistance, and soon it feels as if the whole world has gone.  And without others, your own exsistance fades, hence herein comes the physical pain, as said before, physical pain can become the only tie you have to actual exsistance.

It feels like dark… dark dark dark.  Like all the light in the world was just somehow sucked out.   All the energy and all the hope, just gone, sucked away to destinations unknown.  Only sometimes then there is light, LIGHT!  So damn bright it almost blinds you.  Your eyes… your body are unaccustomed to so much light and it practiacally blinds you.  Happy is just as stong an emotion as sad, only even more scary.  Because I never quite knew what to do with that light… and before you know it, snap, its gone.

It feels like being compleatly out of control.  Anger, rage, at NOTHING sometimes.  But there is no hope in controlling that anger, none at all.  Let it out, and it is distructive, violent, dangerous.  Keep it in and it makes the darkness even darker, until finally everything just goes black…

or RED

And watch out for red… because when RED comes there is no help.  When there is red, there is no rational, only rage, uncontrollable, uncomprehensible, inexplainable, rage.

It feels like death, like death of your soul, death of your mind.  And you can’t get death OUT of your mind.  Can’t walk by a window without wondering what would happen if you jumped out.  Can’t look at your own wrists without knowing how simple it should be.  Can’t stop obsessing about how or when or if it would work.  Cant look at a bottle of pills without seeing death first.

It feels like black and white, and nothing in between… well except maybe red.  But everything, everyone, every place good or bad.  And every moment the black and white changes.  Good self, bad self, good mother, bad mother.  And somehow the ability to keep the good and the bad compleatly separate.  You can love someone you hate, and hate someone you love.  But never at the same time.  You either love them, or hate them.  But that can change in an instant.  Borderlines can love someone abusive… and be okay with it.

It feels like confusion, like never knowing the answer to a question.  Even one as simple as whats your favorite color?  What IS my favorite color?  Is it black, I’m wearing black today I think I like black.  But Purple is nice too, but wait maybe I like blue… do I like blue?

It feels like insanity, because through it all Borderlines are just intelligent normal people… with some kind of messed up brain sequence.  We know we are messed up, but don’t know how to make it stop.  Don’t know how to just BE NORMAL.  Don’t know how to just be ourselves.  Have no off button… have no on button.  Have no button that turns the black and white into gray.  Have no button that makes it easier when someone walks away.  Have nothing like that.  But do have an intense need to be loved… which proves difficult for others to do.  Which in turn makes our lives more difficult too.  It feels like insanity because you just can’t understand what the hell is wrong with you.  Why you can’t make sense of anything or anyone.  Why people look at you funny and ask you what the hell is wrong with you.  It feels like a complete lack of understanding and place in the world.

Because it feels like being able to function completely normally while no one around you has a clue.

No one around you knows the war you fight within.

Advertisements
 

Who am I? September 5, 2009

And what a question that is.

Who am I?  Really, WHO am I?  I have so often wondered the answer to that question.  In the nature of me, and the nature of the diagnosis of BPD the question Who am I comes up quite often.  If you had asked me 10 years ago… five years ago… I probably would have looked at you like you were out of your mind.  I had no idea who I was, or even how to begin an accurate description of me.  I was whatever I wanted to be, a personal chameleon that could fit well into any situation.  Belong with any group of people.  Only I never really did BELONG, just pretended.  And silently hoped that no one would notice the chameleon in their midst.

Over the years I have developed something that would qualify as a sense of self.  I learned to lable things at put them into perspective and say, yeah, this is me, I like this.  I could even tell you reasons why I liked those things.  I have learned to allow myself to be myself, without questioning that too much.  Granted it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

Hoever, today, I took a quiz on a dating site, I decided to join a dating site, yay for me.  But I took this personality profile… I have taken lots… I know my profile personality pretty well.  This profile was different, the questions were aimed to be answered as you were as a child, not as you are now.  Because according to this, everyone is born with their core personality in tact.  Being that I worked in child care for 7 years,  I can tell you that this is probably true.  Babies, even little ones, have outrageously different personalities that they always carry with them through their childhoods.  But anyway, so this test is geared at your core personality, the one you were born with.  There was a disclaimer in there about yeah, people change blah blah blah but your core personality always remained.  So I took the test.  There were four personality groups.  Blue, the intuitive, intimate, emotional type.  Red, the powerful, stubborn, relentless type.  White the gentle, kind, dependable type.  Yellow, the outgoing, spontaneous and fun loving type.  I figured I was a shoo in for blue.

I got yellow, not even just yellow but DEFINITELY yellow (thats what they said, definitely yellow).  Yellow?  Where did that come from?  I am not outgoing, I HATE being around people.  I suck in social situations and avoid them at all costs.  I don’t like to be around people,  revel in being alone!  I don’t like having lots of friends, being the center of attention, I am not outgoing, I am not extroverted… all I could think of is WTF?  YELLOW??  The worst is my next was red, then white, THEN blue.  No no no, they got something wrong.

But then I started thinking.  I was that obnoxious child, the one that was always in trouble, and way too loud.  The one that wanted to be the center of attention and loved making people laugh.  The one that put tacks in her shoes because she liked the clicking noise walking down the hall.  The stubborn and crazy and creative kid.  I was that one.

So what the hell happened?

If our core personalities never change, where did mine go?  And the more I started thinking about it, the more I realized its still there.  Just so locked away and hidden it doesn’t come out often.  When I am with my Dad (my bdad for those followers) I am that person still.  The fun loving, outgoing, silly funny person.  The goofy one who loves to make him laugh.  The one who is always being cheerful and telling him to look at the bright side.  The Yellow me.  Yellow.  When I am with him, I can be yellow.

Every time else, I am Blue.  The emotional, feeling, intuitive, craves intimacy blue.  And I am blue with my Dad too, if it weren’t for the intimacy of our relationship (and NO intimacy does not mean SEX, at least not this definition of it) the yellow in me would never have come out.

So who the hell am I, the Yellow or the Blue?

And if core personalities don’t change, why do I gravitate towards blue?

 

The death of childhood December 17, 2008

Life has thrown many obstacles at me, as I am sure is the same for many others.  Some people just seem to go through life without too much difficulty, without ever knowing what it feels like to be abused, depressed, suicidal or any of those other fun things that come along.  

I on the other hand, am not one of those people.  Because of that I have been in therapy for what seems like an eternity but is really only six years.  I have a myriad of diagnosis including chronic depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and Borderline Personality Disorder.   However, I don’t really think of myself by those things.  In all reality I am just a person, thats all it is.  A person with things I have to deal with, and have dealt with, tremendously well all considering.  I am a completely different person now than I was six years ago, three years ago, even one year ago.  However, some things just never cease to amaze me.  New things pop up that I hadn’t even thought about.  

One of those was in a therapy session I had yesterday.  My therapist asked me to write a letter to my mother, and start it with Dear Mom, I hate when you…. and list all the things from my childhood that I hated when she did.  So I did.  I started with the pen to the paper and Dear Mom, I hate when you scream at me… and so on from there.  Without too much time passing, I found myself in tears and with a list that was four pages long.  The saddest part was that none of the things were one time only things.  They were ALL things that she had done to me, more than once, and not I hate it when you wouldn’t let me go to so and sos house.  Nothing like that, all things that were regulars in the list of I hate it when yous… 

When I got to the fourth page I stopped.  Simply because I was crying too hard and I didn’t want to go on.  I closed the notebook I had written it in and didn’t think about it again.  Didn’t remember a lot of the things I put in that list because I was writing from the heart and not from my head.  

In Session yesterday my Therapist, J, made me read the letter out loud.  I surprised even myself when I had a hard time doing so.  I don’t know why, I guess because A.  I knew it would hurt her, and B.  I knew it would hurt ME.  I knew that reading that list would transfer what I had written from a secret place locked deep in my heart, to a conscious place in my head.  I didn’t really want to do that.  I needed to do it.  

I did it.  In reading the list of things I myself wasn’t even ready to hear, I made yet another realization.  Well really J made the realization through the tears in her eyes that I didn’t want to put there.  My mother was abusive.  

I was abused.  Not just sexually abused, that I already know about… a little hard to forget, even though my mind had done a good job of it.  But I was abused, by the person who was supposed to love and nurture me and care for me forever and ever.  Not physically, no she didn’t hit me any more than the slaps when I did something wrong.  No she was verbally and emotionally abusive.  

I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me.  But it does.  It hurts, it brings up things I don’t want to feel.  My mother was abusive.  Not an easy thing to deal with.  

Particularly since the worst part of it is, I love my mother.  I really do.  I don’t know why, I guess that deep part within me that loves her because she is my mother.  I love her because she isn’t ALL bad.  She isn’t a terrible awful person who belongs somewhere in the pits of hell.  Which is hard for me, because I would think that all abusers belong somewhere in the pits of hell.  

My mother does not.  She is a good person <BAH> really, she is.  Well I guess I should say she TRYS to be a good person.  She was the girl scout leader, the mom who always went on field trips, the one every other kid loved!  She made the best cookies, she made the best projects, she was creative, she is all sorts of good things.  

However, she is also abusive.  It wasn’t on purpose, I KNOW that.  All she ever wanted in the world was to be a mother (I know right?  Barf) I just wasn’t the right daughter for her.  Too bad there isn’t a store or something where you can pick the right kid.  Had things been different perhaps it would have worked better, but I was just not the right kid for her. 

I do not allow myself to still be abused, we have come to this relationship that seems to work, where we both pretend that the past never happened and we are just this happy family la te da.  

So how does one go about dealing with something like this?  Dealing with a rationalization that comes in adulthood.  I guess I just keep going about doing what I am doing and hoping the eventually the majority of my demons will settle.  That hopefully I will know how to be someone that is not anywhere NEAR my mother.   I can’t make the past better, I can’t make it different.  I can keep going toward the future but I wonder how to effectively let go of the past, without burying it in a non healthy way, as I have done for so long.

 

I’m A Crab Apple May 29, 2007

I hate being so moody!!!  

I am a crabby apple today.  I guess this wouldn’t be so bad if there were an actual REASON for being a crabby apple!!  I just get in these moods at times I guess.  I don’t understand it, and to be perfectly honest, I wish it would go away. 

I have dealt with borderline personality disorder for years now.  If I had to say when I GOT the disorder, I would think it was around 15, when I first started cutting I guess.  I had all the other symptoms of it I guess, but the cutting is what really threw it over the edge.  

I was not in therapy at the time, I didn’t first enter professional therapy until perhaps a year or so later, at 16.  Late in my 16th year.  I didn’t get diagnosed with the disorder until I was 20.  

My first diagnosis was depression, just give her anti-depressants and she will be fine.  My first therapist sent me off a year later to college saying I would be fine.  She listed me as not in need of therapy anymore.  

Oh REALLY!  

I guess if you don’t SPEAK to your therapists… they don’t really KNOW whats going on.  What a silly thought.  

My secondary diagnosis was PTSD, stemming from the abuse I endured from the time I was nine until my fourteenth birthday.  Abuse I endured from my cousin.  I wish I could say he is an evil being, but this just isn’t true.  He isn’t inherently evil, just messed up in the head.  He was in a car accident when he was two, and hasn’t been ‘normal’ since.  He just doesn’t have the brain capacity to understand that what he did was wrong.  

At least this is how its always explained to me.  He didn’t have the brain capacity. 

Doesn’t make me any less f^*ked up because of it.  

Oh well, I learned to deal with it, just as I learned to deal with just about everything else that’s been handed my way.  
I got the diagnosis of borderline at 20 years old, when I was landed in a day treatment program in a psychiatric hospital after threatening to kill myself.  Whew, I’m just spilling it all today.  I will never forget that day… the day I handed a note to my boss explaining I wasn’t going to be at work for two weeks… because I was going to the hospital.  “why?” “whats going on, are you ok?  Why do you have to go to the hospital?” 

Oh yeah, I am fine, just crazy thats all.

And for the first time, something in my life made sense.  Borderline Personality Disorder.  Finally!  Finally someone was telling me something that I had know a long long time. 

I was one screwed up individual.  

And I finally had a name to put to it,  BPD. 

After that I read every book I could find on the subject, everything I could read, everything I could discover that might help me get through this.  For everything that I am, I have always been a fighter.  

I met my current therapist there too, thank god for that.  Very few things in my life have ever gone smoothly, but finding my therapist, and finding my biological mother were among the two easiest.  

After that, life hasn’t been a pancake, in fact, going through therapy has been probably even harder than living with myself the way I was.  The thing is, I knew I COULDN’T live with myself the way I was.  I knew I wouldn’t survive it.  

Finding out I had BPD gave me hope, it gave me hope because while it is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to treat, it is treatable, curable if you will.  

Only there is no magic cure, there is no ‘maintenece’ to being borderline, no medications that can fix the symptoms.  Just a whole hell of a lot of hard work.  

And I have worked hard, very hard.  Gone places I never wanted to go, spoke things that I never wanted to speak.  
Learning to live with BPD is like learning to live all over again, starting from the beginning. 

You have to learn new coping mechanisms, you have to learn new relationship strategies.  You have to learn, basically, how to be a normally functioning adult.  Because with BPD, thats one of the biggest things that’s missing, that whole normally functioning thing.  

Granted, even at my worst, I was always high functioning.  I held a job, I lived on my own.  I had relationships, crazy messed up relationships, but relationships none the less.  

Things have changed so much.  So much that sometimes it is scary to me.  So much that when these little tail ends of the BPD still get to me, its frustrating.  Its frustrating to no end.  

This moodiness is frustrating to no end.  When there is so much else going on in your life its hard to see being moody for what it really is.  When you spend every day swinging from one extreme to the other, its hard to see the forrest through the trees.  

Now I see the forrest, and the trees.  I see my life, and I see myself.  I guess thats where the frustration comes in.  I wish I could kick the last of this thing.  Its like that last 10 pounds you just can’t lose, or the last flecks of dirt you just CAN’T get in the dustpan.  

Perhaps it is just something I am always going to have to deal with.  Perhaps it will fade as time goes on, or I will learn to deal with it more.  

Perhaps its just because this whole adoption/reunion thing really kicked up a LOT of those little flecks of dirt that don’t want to go in the dustpan.  However, this whole adoption/reunion was like that last step for me.  I NEEDED to get through this so I could move on.  I needed to meet her so I could find myself.  So its hard for me to know if that’s all the rest of this is, the final bit, or some kicked up dirt. 

Perhaps it is just me.  I am not sure.  

Whatever it is, you can bet I will learn to deal with it.