A moment in a thought

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

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.