Don’t Judge Me (finding out I had BPD)

I have written and rewritten this blog post about five times.  There are so many things to talk about, and so much amazing support so far.  Thank you so much for reading.  I’m warning you, this wont always be easy to read.  It will become more painful at times, it will be sad, it will be raw, it will be brutally honest.  Keep reading these posts at your own risk lol.  But seriously, its going to be sad. But I hope that it opens a few eyes to living with mental illness, how to live with it, or at the very least, that if you are dealing with it,  you’re aren’t in it alone.  

I still have more to tell you about the abandonment fears, but I’m going to save that for another day.
When I was first told I had borderline, I read everything I could find, asked everyone I knew.  I either ended up empty handed, or read horrible judgmental things about those of us with BPD.    I think humans in general are super quick to judge, we see someone’s actions, and assume personality traits from them.  With BPD these traits people apparently conclude sometimes, is that we are manipulative, selfish, unempathetic, just overall terrible people.  And on TV?  Omg, its always a fucking serial killer.  I watched a show a while ago and someone accidently killed a whole town (some super power thing), and they said “Sounds like shes got borderline”.  Hold up, I’m sorry EXCUSE ME? How on earth will we ever be able to openly talk about mental illness if this kind of crap is in our face all the time?  And if youre reading this thinking “oh god I have no idea what borderline even is”. That’s okay.  We’ll get there, you’re taking the right steps to knowing.  Just be careful what you read.  One of the biggest parts of someone with someone with borderline recovering (I should put in here, there is no cure, no medication, it doesn’t go away.  It stays, but we can learn to live with it, and we can get to a point where we might have “traits of” rather than be in the depths of it) is community support.  Love. Acceptance.  Being able to talk about it.  People taking the time to see you, listen and ask.  I garuntee you if you talk to anyone with Borderline and trace back to their history, it all makes sense.  (Or maybe it doesn’t.  But it does for me).  I’m getting sick of people assuming the worst in me, because out of fear, I got anxious and asked them not to leave me.  There are quite a few gems who have stuck it out, known that its not me.  Who take the time to see me.  Once I was diagnosed, I went through every single damn friendship or relationship that went wrong and questioned whether it was my fault.  All of a sudden I felt like my feelings of not belonging, of being broken, of being alone, isolated were proven to be true.  It was my fault I lost all those people.  I am a bad person. I am manipulative.  It took me a while to get back and be able to see that no, these stigmas aren’t true.  Yes, I’ve messed up, but its always a two way street.  (I had a lot of help from good friends here-who will to this day remind me if I need it)

Okay, sass aside. Sometimes I dissociate. You might be thinking, wait babe (heh), what does that even mean?  Oh, hold on, I’ll get there.  Its probably different with everyone, but for me I have varying degrees of dissociating.  It depends on the cause, and the kind of state I was in previously.  Smaller degrees, I have a horrible memory, sometimes I’ll zone out like you’re average jo. Joe? Why is that even a thing? Anyway, oh, also changing the subject like that, getting distracted easily.  Thats just me sometimes, I get easily excited.  Sometimes its like….there’s a choice between a panic attack or dissociating, and its a flip of a coin.  The worst time it happened I totally blacked out, my grandmother told me I’d gone into shock.  But most of the time it feels like….slipping off a cliff. I fall for a little while, then I just sort of hover, watching myself go throughout my day.  I’m not really there, I probably wont engage that much, no more than I need to to seem like I’m fine on the outside.   Eventually though, I tend to snap, if triggered.  It kind of feels like I’m under water, like my blood sugar is really low.  Like….my body is weighed down by cement, and i’m being held under water.  I hurt, I am so tired, I want to explode but cant.  On the outside it sometimes is hard to tell, unless you know me.  I will be really unengaging.  I’ll tend to look down, not say much.  I might be fidgety,or not move at all.  It generally only happens in situations where a bunch of little things have piled up, and I’m not in a place I feel safe, in a large group, somewhere where I cant escape for a little bit.  (Mostly in jobs I hate, when I’m at bars, meeting a lot of new people).  For example…. hmm..okay.  So say….I’m working my day job, (not the one Im in love with obviously).  Its at a cafe, I’m constantly feeling the emotions of everyone around me.  I have a running list in my head of things I need to do.  I am paying attention to what I’m doing, what my coworker is doing. If theyre okay, how they feel.  Plus any amount of worrying thoughts (i’m not perfect at always being mindful.), I get physical pain as I’m waiting for a surgery, if I’m overtired, hungry, have to pee,  maybe I just had a really triggering text convo where my friend says “jesus, why do you have to be so sensitive”.  Thats a lot, sometimes when i’m at this stage its like a kettle whistling, so much damn pressure, the slightest thing could make me so frustrated.  Sometimes I just shut down.  Once I’m there there is not much I can do if i’m out.  If i’m home I can watch funny videos, eat, go for a walk. I can use all the coping skills.  It doesn’t necessarily feel bad once I’ve sort of….slipped off or whatever clever way you want to say this.  I just dont feel connected, I dont feel here, I dont feel me, I dont feel at all.

Thanks for this.  Keep checking back, I’ll keep posting.
Over and out,
Borderline Babe.

The day it broke

I’m sad.  A part of me deep down, the little kid part maybe, is really. Damn. Sad. Sad that she never got to just be herself, to feel loved, to feel okay being my size, being myself. Sad that she felt like she never had a hand to hold, sad that Ive been on this healing journey, mostly alone.  I do have a few good friends, don’t get me wrong, but friendships tend not to last all that long for me.  Whether it be me pushing them away, or picking the wrong kind of people to trust.  Ive been on a healing path for…oh a long damn time now, and there have been people along the way that have stayed, who loved me for me, who supported and helped.  But here’s the thing about borderline, for me. When you feel down, its real low bottom of the world level of down.  Below the surface of the ocean, so low its dark.  You can’t breathe, see, feel anything but the fact that you’re drowning.  You can’t remember what it feels like to be able to swim,  what the sun feels like, how it felt to be able to breathe, and  its really REALLY difficult to remember that you’re not alone.   See, on my resume, under the portion labeled skills, is this really practiced ability of worrying.  Not the level of worrying that a regular person may have, but a level so deep that it gets in the way of your life.  I worry being around people, I worry to post this blog, I worry about so much stuff, that I might not usually, when I’m swimming.  When I’m low, my brain can find a thousand reasons why people in my life don’t love me.  A million reasons they’d be better off without me, a million reasons why they fake it.  This makes it hard for me to open up, it makes it hard for me to trust that people wont leave, it makes it hard for me not to feel alone.  (Im really breaking it down, there’s a lot more to this.)
Let me take you back to why, for those of you who still trying to wrap your head around this, this part is the “fear of abandonment” symptom of BPD:

When I was a kid, a lot of people died.  Starting with my dad when I was three, and kept on happening until 13 people died in the ten years following.  I’m not ready to be open about some of the details here, some of the other circumstances around growing up, because that fear still eats at me.  What I will tell you, is that I lived with my grandmother, and lovely and amazing as she was, she was also broken.  She had been broken and stepped on more times than I ever knew, a level of pain I could probably never understand fully, but she had a family to raise, kids to feed, and never had the opportunity to heal herself.    So, unfortunately, her pain came out at the people who were closest to her, carrying down the family curses, the pain given to her by her parents, so on.  I forgive her for everything she did, I’m still mad sometimes, and I’m still not okay with it, but after a lot of work, I’ve moved past it.  I realize I’m rambling because I’m nervous to tell you this next part but I’m going to take a deep breath and jump in.
She started making comments about my weight when I was a little kid, around four? Five? I don’t remember any of it, most of my memories are gone.   I do remember one day being so proud of picking my own outfit (she dressed me for a long time), and she looked at me and said “you have to change you look too fat in that.”  I was nine.  Already my worth, how people thought of me, if people would like me, was directly attached to my weight, my looks.   I would also come home from being at a friends house and she would tell me, for a long long rant, all of the reasons this person was only using me.  All the reasons that I shouldn’t trust them, all the reasons they’re keeping me around to use me, to make themselves feel better, appear better, make themselves appear more beautiful and skinny to have me hanging around them.   I don’t know then this started, it was always in hushed tones by the fireplace when no one was around, and she’d probably had a few drinks.  Again, most of the things she said I don’t remember, accept for a few occasions that I remember very vividly, but I remember it was normal, so normal I believed her.  I didn’t think I was worth anyone’s time.

So there you go, if you know me, or you’re part of my family, or even a stranger and this is triggering, I apologize, none of this was meant to cause anyone else any pain.

Given all of this, I have done a lot of work to heal this.  I’m definitely not perfect, it comes in waves.  But, yoga has helped me to no end.  It helps me everyday to move that sense of self worth from external, to internal.  To help me be okay being me (this is still a mountain I’m climbing), it helps me stay more mindful, trying to let go of all of that worry.  It has helped for me to try and understand that people have their own shit, and a lot of the time, are mostly thinking about that, not every minute detail of things I may have screwed up.  It helps to know that the real friends will still be there when you remember how to swim, and though I may not be good at asking for help, the real friends will be there when I do, some way or another.  It helps knowing that the drowning is only temporary, and wont last forever.  It helps to do things that I like that I find distracting. Animal videos, cute, funny youtube videos help.  Reading stories, reading books, watching stupid tv, eating chocolate, drinking tea, playing piano, singing, and getting on my mat.  Getting outside by the water, getting outside near trees or animals.

There we go, day 2 of blog.  I will warn you that I’m probably not going to be great at posting everyday, but since it’s a new thing,I seem to have a lot to say.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for all the love that you’ve been sending, and blowing me away with.

Love you all,
Borderline Babe.

Please Still Love me

Hello world,
Welcome to my blog where I am going to just tell it as it is, I’ll touch on weight issues, BPD, who knows what else, lets see what comes up shall we?  I really want to open up about what its like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder because there seems to be this idea that people with BPD are violent, selfish, villains. Well, some might be, in the same way some people without BPD might be.  So….here we go, I’m just going to go straight to pouring my heart all over this damn keyboard, and see what comes out.  Judge me all you want, agree, disagree, but know that everything I say is truthful to my experience,  my view, my feelings.  (brutally honest). Maybe some of it will hurt to read, maybe some will make you think “oh no dont think that!”  Well, I do, you might too.  And thats okay.  Thinking it, and being open about it is the first step in being able to heal it.  So, y’know, deal.  Also there will be swearing, knowing me.

I got rejected today…and the first thing I thought was “its because of my size”.  If only I was skinny, people could look past my crazy, broken self, and still love me; but instead Im a lose lose situation.    Im trying to work on intuitive eating, on being okay with my body.  And I’m at the stage where all these beliefs connected with weight are screaming all the reasons I need to stop eating again.  (This part will continue in posts to come, but im going to go off on a tangent here)

Up until recently, some the people that were close to me, people I thought were my friends, were people that made me feel crazy.  People who I would apologize to for breathing, that I would feel I inconvenience just by existing, wanting them to like me, and asking for their attention, asking for their help.  They would constantly say things like “You take everything so personally” “Calm down, why do you always overreact” “stop being so sensitive”. (Pro-life tip: Don’t say shit like this to someone with BPD.  Maybe just dont say this at all? ) Last week I was in Guelph hanging out with some of my closest friends, and one of them said “Good friends will never let you apologize for yourself. “.  This seemed to be a reoccurring theme throughout the week with my friends. (Alright, alright, I get the message) And I thought of how every friend I felt supported and loved by, every friend who made me feel good when I was around them, they never let me apologize for who I am.  They never made me feel crazy, in fact they had loads of empathy for my situation, they could see why I acted the way I did, or felt the way I did.  To them it was always okay to be me, feel my feelings. I had this huge epiphany that all those people who made me feel like that? THOSE were the friends.  They were the people who I should be surrounding myself with.  That all the people who put me down, make me feel like a disease, they’re not deserving of even being in my life.  And yes I know the whole “Oh, but what if those people are having a hard time in their lives, they’re in pain, have sympathy”.  Bullshit. Total bullshit, it doesn’t matter what on earth is going on in your life, it doesn’t give you an excuse to hurt anyone, treat them less than human, use them, abuse them.  EVER.  As someone who has had a lot of emotional/verbal abuse experience, it took me a while to get to this point, but honestly, its one of the things that was so important in my growth.  Everyone fucks up sometimes, but you apologize, move on and try and do better.  Its when its recurring youve gotta smarten up, deal with your shit.  Being a decent human being, treating the people im your life with love and respect literally costs you nothing.   See, even though feelings may feel “bad”, feelings themselves are not bad.  They are so good; So good for you, if you don’t feel them, they’ll just come back in another way.  They will eat you alive, they will make themselves known.  Being sensitive is something Ive come to like about myself.  So much tells us that being sensitive is bad, and while its inconvenient at times, it’s a beautiful thing.  It allows me to connect better to those around me,  to feel intense amount of joy, intense amounts of pain, intense amount of happiness, sadness, goofiness..    It all balances out.

Alright, well, there we go.  Blog post one. Done.  and so so scary.  Do me a favour, and if you’re in my life and think maybe this is about you.  Know that this isn’t.  This is purely me letting out my story, my feelings, my view.  Think of me what you will, just be a decent human about it.

Over and out,
Borderline Babe.