Good Days

When I was little I used to play this “prank” on my sister, and when she wasn’t looking I’d put a piece of my dinner in her milk. Sometimes I’d chose the food unwisely and it would float, but sometimes she wouldn’t notice until the end of the glass. I can still hear the unimpressed and annoyed younger sister tone she took my name in when she finally found it. I thought this was hilarious. I’d gut myself laughing every single time, boy did I think I was clever.

I always dreamed of putting an elastic around that little showerhead part of the kitchen sink too, but was a bit too chicken to try that one out.

We had a whole bunch of forts in our yard in the trees, and when it snowed we would build snow forts. Quite a few times this just included a large space where we put little mini snow walls a few inches high to mark where our rooms would be, and we would make a little house. Sometimes we’d decorate it, or include “furniture” out of the logs and twigs we found. On more than one occassion we also made a slide out of the snow on the deck stairs.

I remember so many times where the three of us would be laughing so hard, likely at something silly, that we would all be weazing and usually end in us racing to pee.

After my minor surgery my mom came over a lot, helped me with food, we did a puzzle, went for walks. We used to walk at Lemoine Pointe and go for breakfast and I loved every minute of it. I loved getting to know her and spend time with her. With both of them.

My grandmother was the most passionately fierce woman I ever met. She would stand up and protest for those who needed a voice, she would stand up for human rights, she wanted the world to be a better place. She used to do this impression of a witch that scared the living daylights out of us, but when she was looking at someone else it was the funniest damn thing.

My sister and I used to pretend to be ‘super spies’. We had our notebooks, had chosen our ‘cars’ and even imagined a tv communication device on our living room wall where we would talk to HQ. We would run around likely saving the world in some way, or taking notes on anyone in the house, though I bet you any money they knew we were there the whole time. Partly because our floors have a lot of places that squeak, and well, we were little kids who were probably always making more noise than we thought.

My sister is also fiercely passionate, crazy smart, and she is truly hilarious. When she was a kid she did hands down the best voice impressions I ever heard. I remember one was ‘I can still smell it’ but I cant remember what that was from, I just remember my mom found it so funny she’d ask my sister to say it all the time.

My mom is sensitive, intelligent, creative and beautiful. When company visits she always is thoughtful enough to give them snacks to get them through the drive home. She has an amazing taste in music, which she loves. She helped me out more than a few times with financial issues, medical scares, and hell even that time my cat ate ribbon and I was far too scared and weak stomached to handle it.

I love them both, and I have no doubt in my mind, nor have I ever doubted that they are going to do amazing things. They are going to achieve their dreams, make a difference, be creative and laugh a whole bunch at silly jokes while doing it. I want nothing but all of this for them.

All of this is true. All of it. But so are the other things I’ve said. These beautiful people were born into unfortunate circumstances. We have hurt over and over from the passing of loved ones, and from the wounds given to us by others. People are complicated, our histories are complicated.

All of what I just said is true, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t emotionally abused. It doesn’t change all of the other things I felt too. It doesn’t make them any less true.

I was lucky enough to have a warm house to live in, strong women around me, food to eat, financial support, I was physically safe, got to take lessons and own pets. I was also emotionally abused. And having those other safeties, and luxuries doesn’t make my experiences invalid, my experiences any less real. Nor does my mental health. And just because I was emotionally abused doesn’t mean I discount the good days, or hate them. Fuck, I love them so much it genuinely tears me apart that this is how it had to end, not being able to communicate and be heard, and needing to end the relationship.

Thanks for listening.

Red Light (flashback)

I’ve slept about 20 hours in the last five days, I’m on the bus feeling vulnerable from a social event. The bus turns down this road, down a hill in the dark. Now, I’ve been down this road hundreds of times before, but its been a long time. I purposely avoid this route these days, even avoid seeing my doctor on this side of town, but still I’m familiar with the turns, the stops and the lights. I know if you turn left at this red light you’ll get to a statue, make a right and a left and you’re at the house I grew up in. The house I grew up in with you. This paticular dark night I braved to look out the window, and when we drove up the winding hill I am reminded of all of the other times I’ve driven up this damn hill. With you. I’m reminded of the times you made me walk home across the bridge, all of the days I’d sit at this stop light on my way home to visit, all of the times we would be at this light home from school. The times we sat in the car-you fighting and screaming, each and every single time I felt like the worst god damn thing that ever existed or happened to you. I was born into the reason you were unhappy, the disappointment, and the human who was the equivalent of a breathing, sensitive mistake. As my bus drives up this hill a montage of moments both happy and sad, painful and horrible fill my minds eye, and this drowning ache fills my heart. I will never again drive up this hill and turn left to see you. I will never again be full of that hope that this time, maybe this time, for the first time I would feel like I belonged when I walked in that door. I will never get the chance to say all the things to you that I always played through in my head, because just as then, you will never listen. You will never see me, nor you will never say any of those things that I’ve always needed, hell deserved, to hear.

Did you know that in highschool, all those times I’d be walking or driving across that fucking bridge I’d think about throwing myself off of it? Because the idea of living in this hell, where I was made to feel like dirt by the people who are supposed to love and cherish and support you made me feel physically ill. I starved myself to fit into the kind of daughter I thought you wanted me to be, the kind of grand-daughter she wanted me to be. I suppressed my voice, I took your shit, I changed my clothes, I gave up secrets, I made sacrifices, I put my life and my happiness on hold because you made me feel guilty any time I felt even remotely happy, or walked into view.

All those times I’d be driving home whether from a friends or to visit from out of town I’d fill with this dread of what was to come. Was today going to be a day you would be happy to see me? Or was it going to be a day you tell me I’ve given you separation anxiety for moving 4 hours away, or when you tear up because instead of spending another night at home in front of the TV with you ignoring me, I decided to go to a friends house where I felt like for even a couple hours I belonged.

The damn bus drove up this hill into my past and I just managed to catch my breath. I let all these fucking images pass, not that I had a choice, and just tried to breathe. Remind myself that the monsters are gone. That when the bus stops, you wont get on. That not every 23 year old with brown hair is you, not every silver fucking car is you, and that I have nothing to be afraid of. Because despite all of the thousands of moments in the 23 years I heard you tell me different, it was not my fault you were unhappy. It was not my job as your child, or your older sister or your granddaughter to cure you, to fix you, to make you happy. I am and was not a stress ball you could squeeze and emotionally torture anytime you felt like you lost your grip despite your feeling of entitlement to do that anyway. It was not my fault for being a sensitive depressed and grieving kid, that you decided to abuse me. Because it was a choice. I don’t give a fuck what you say, you chose this. You chose to close your eyes to your own lives and to explode on whatever was easiest, and unfortunately that was mainly me.

This damn bus got to this red light and I remembered every time I got to this light, seeing you for the first time in a few months, that I sat here with a sense of hope, a plan of action. I’d find a way to prove to you I am good enough. Maybe if I was funnier, more superficial, less superficial, quieter, prettier, skinnier, dating, single, successful, I’d be worth your time. I’d be worth your love, this supposed unconditional familial love I’ve heard so much about. Maybe then I’d belong and know what it feels like to be in a family, a group of people who have your back and root for your success and happiness and have nothing but support and love for you even on the days that doesn’t happen. Even on the days the sun doesn’t come up.

I sat there at that damn light, knowing that chapter is done. Those hopes will never be fulfilled by you, neither will your words continue to cut me. You have lost the access to my heart, to me. So that you may not continue to abuse me and keep me small. I deserve a place where I feel at home, (real home), where I feel like I belong, where I feel safe, seen and heard.

Im sat on that damn bus in the dark at a red light, thankful it wasn’t turning left.

How do I help someone with Borderline Personality Disorder?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how someone can better help someone they love with borderline or mental illness. So I thought we would talk a little bit about that today, so whether you need help to connect with a loved one, or you yourself have borderline or struggle with rough shit and just wanna know you arent alone and maybe pick up a tip or two, sit tight!

The first thing I’ll say is ask them! I know that it can feel awkward and uncomfortable to ask blunt questions, or to be vulnerable enough to ask a question like this, but it makes a big difference. Before you do, ensure that you are in a grounded place, that you are able to listen without judgement, that you arent thinking about your response, or anything, for that matter, but understanding what you’re about to hear. Make sure that the other person is in a grounded place, isn’t already triggered, is feeling themselves and that they in a place where they are in touch with their ‘wise mind’, or where they are in a place not entirely run by their emotional mind. (Make sense?). Kay cool, so now you know you’re both chill? Go somewhere with privacy or that feels safe for that person, say something like “I’d really like to talk to you more about your experiences and learn how to best help you, ask you some questions, if you feel up for that”. Ask them questions, don’t be afraid, likely they will be glad someone is trying to understand in a validating and loving way. Ask them what its like when they are triggered, if there are any recurring themes in thought patterns. For example, when I’m triggered or in a bad place my brain is really good at convincing me that I am not cared for, that I’m not important, etc. Ask them what helps, if there’s anything they need to hear or any activities that help: walking, cute animal videos, you know.

So now when it comes to talking to someone who is in a difficult headspace dont take it personally, and don’t under estimate how helpful it is to simply validate their struggles and pain. I can not tell you how good it feels for someone to say “well of course you’re feeling greif, you’re going through some really tough shit, but I think you’re doing really well and that you’re really strong”. Remind them of the things they’ve done right. “Hey, you got out of bed, even though you didn’t feel like you coulld AND you went to work, look at you go!” Or “you have made it through x many months! You stood up for yourself, you’re seeing a therapist, you’ve grown so much I’m really proud of you”. And remind them you care and that they’re important to you/others. I dont give a fuck how many times you have told them you love them, or how important they are to you. Tell them again, it costs you nothing and likely they are fighting with their own damn brain to believe they even deserve to exist. Tell. Them. You. Appreciate/see. Them. Got it? Good.

Okay, now more specific things that I find helpful! A while ago when I was in a really rough spot I came up with this system of victories and it helped me SO much. So I got 2 jars, labelled one ‘small victories’ one ‘big victories’. what those are you decide. For small victories (brushing my teeth, eating, getting out of bed, brushing the cat, whatever you decide) I’d put about 5-10 cents in the jar, and big (excersizing, standing up for yourself, going to therapy, meditating, doing your homework, leaving your apartment…you get it) it’d be anywhere from a quarter to a twoonie. At the end of the day I’d tally it all up and put the money in each selective jar and it was a visual reminder that even though I felt like maybe I was failing, or not doing well, fucking everything up I could remember the things I accomplished that went well and feel good about that. Now, I don’t do the coin system currently, but my partner and I have started this little ritual of sharing our days victories with one another and it is really helpful. Its nice to hear the other persons accomplishments, and support them in that, and its nice to share your own. Now some days you’re gunna be like “damn I killed it, nothing but victories today” other days you’ll be like “welp, i didn’t punch anyone at school, and I didn’t wear pjs all day” and thats still fucking amazing. The added bonus is that once you do one, you want to do more. If coins doesn’t work stickers is always a good one too, they ain’t just for kids you know.

An old friend of mine explained to me years ago that in their life they considered themselves as having four or five areas that were really important to them, that when put together and balanced out, made them happiest and most themselves. So, if they were spending too much time studying and not enough with friends they’d be out of whack. For them, I believe they had said school/learning, social, creative, work, gym/moving their body, and rest. When things feel off ask yourself ‘what do I need’, think of maybe those things that might make up your healthy balance, say pie chart stylez. (Yes I said it) When was the last time you saw a good friend? Or moved your body? When was the last time you ate a good home cooked meal with someone you love.

I have plenty more things but I will stop there for now, and just remind you its entirely individual. Its nice to be thought of and asked about, its nice when things are dark to hear people be straight up with me ‘are you safe? Do you want to hurt yourself?” If yes, “either come over, or lets go for a walk.” Or whatever you know? Last lil tip I’ll give is sometimes its nice to have kindof a code with those people. When things are really dark it feels impossible to ask for help. Maybe ask them if a code word or phrase would help? Even a number system: 1. I need company 2. Call me 3. I’m really sad and could use a few heart emojis and you to tell me you love me. 4. All the funny memes please 5. Need cute animal vids. You decide! But it can help to know you have that option for when you’re in a place so dark asking for help feels like climbing everest.

Have any other tips? Feel free to comment what works for you!

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Lastly! I’m going to post weekly here on out. Now I’ve said it I gotta. If you have questions or things you’d really like me to talk about please do reach out. I really like hearing from you all.

Christmas

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2019 will bring better things. It fucking better, cuz honestly I’m pretty tapped out of shit going wrong. I do know thats life, don’t try and pull that card but I would appreciate just a few months where some things go right, you know? I’m fuckin tired.
Continue reading “Christmas”

I’m sorry

Good afternoon babe(s)
I hope you all had a really great halloween. I’m not really choosing a theme or topic today, I just wrote whatever came up. Kind of stream of consciousness, which often is what I do. Hopefully its easy-ish to follow.

I’m sorry that I don’t work the way you find easiest to understand. I’m sorry about all of my mistakes, and every time I wasn’t willing to own up to my shit. I’m sorry that I too often didn’t ask or listen when you needed me to, and that I asked too much of you too often. The weight of my world often felt to much to carry, but I should never have expected you to help me do the lifting. I’m sorry if I can be selfish, and I’m sorry I have no fucking clue what I’m doing.
Continue reading “I’m sorry”

Nearly a year

Well, thank you again for your patience, I just got back from training and am settling into real life again. I am so dedicated to you guys that I am currently writing the iPad keyboard…like the touch screen one. Soooo there ya go.

Little catch up, flow teacher training was amazing full of connection, and it was so inspiring. It was physically and emotionally difficult but I loved every minute of it. I also got to spend some time with amazing friends and have a few dates with a true gentleman while I was there. I’m back now had a weekend full of friends, though it has been rough to adjust to real life. The one year mark is coming up for when I stood up to abuse, and distanced myself from my family. Which is unreal and I can’t really believe it. Continue reading “Nearly a year”