Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another day that isn't yesterday

I recently had a comment on one of my earlier posts from A.Chocobo inquiring as to whether or not I had advice, because they believe they might be Borderline, as well. 
Quizzes online can open doors to ideas we’d yet to come across, but that’s it--it’s all ideas, and general ones at that. Ultimately, we are the only ones who truly know our experiences and the effects they have on us. I can describe the pain of my five-year self backwards and forwards, but no one else will ever feel the exact repercussions. But you know your pain. And perhaps you’ve let that pain consume you.
That is where our downfall lies--when we allow our EXPERIENCES overcome us, consume us. We have these unique experiences that are labeled “borderline”, and we relinquish control of our future experiences by giving our past experiences power in the present. Borderline is not who we are, but what we have gone through and how we let it affect us. Borderline means something different to all of us. And so I urge you all to join in and write about what Borderline means in your life, and post a link to your writing here so we can all get through this together.
For me, it’s the aching and yearning of my five-year old self. It’s the darkness she experiences, the isolation and confusion she felt from a mother who projected her self-hatred onto her daughter. It’s the fear of her mother being right--the fear of being an inherently bad, disgusting person. For me it’s the slap across my face, a slap so hard that my nose bled. For me it’s wanting to run away from everyone who knows me so I can run away from myself. For me BPD is the desire to be accepted, the need for validation I never received. 
BPD is not who we are, but merely a name for, and a means of categorizing, our past experiences. 
What gets me through is focusing on what I have control over and ONLY what I have control over. I DO NOT have control over my past--and what’s wonderful is that the past is over. I do not have control over how others act. But I do have control over how I act. I do have control over allowing BPD to consume me. I do have control over separating my experiences in my childhood from the world I’m experiencing in the present. And it’s hard. I struggle every single day. 
I’ve wanted to run away from my job for a long time. But I stick it out. I deal with others and I deal with myself and force myself to be the person I want to be. And then, after an incredible day where I’ve made remarkable progress, I get in my car and cry. I allow myself to feel the pain. Because it’s okay. And then I get up the next morning stronger, ready for another day that isn’t yesterday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I still feel an unsettling monster inside of me, clawing its way out despite my best efforts. I, as in the sane I, watch from above as the monster takes over and makes of fool of us. And my heart breaks, again, as I realize that this monster is not a monster at all, but instead just a heartbroken, lost little five year old girl.

Realizing that the monster isn't evil at all is at first devastating, but then liberating. Because in seeing past my own exterior and seeing the source of it, the pain, the little girl who yearns for that love and approval, I realized that I'm not (objectively) bad. Mind you, I'm in a rational mood right now. But I'll take advantage of it. We must remember this of ourselves. When that darkness creeps up, pulls us under, we must see past it. We must remind ourselves that we perceive our vulnerabilities and pain as evil, because we were never acknowledged, validated, accepted, loved. Our desires for these things, things that other children got, were punished, ignored, dismissed by the adults in our lives. And so naturally, as adults, we treat our emotions the same, because it is the only way we learned how to react to them.

And I can never change the way my mother or aunts treated me. I cannot change the way people currently treat me--but I can change the way I treat myself. Change starts within. And we will only receive the degree of respect to which we treat ourselves. And though I have only experienced treating that little girl in me with contempt, I know that I am not happy with that status-quo. And so I must every day remind myself. It will take hundreds of instances of redirecting my thoughts and energy before those synapses are rewired to automatically connect differently. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, with one day, with one good intent.

And another thing--I must remember that I will mess up. And that's good, because it will give me the chance to experience messing up and it being okay. I will get the chance to prove to myself that one instance of taking a step in the wrong direction does not define me as a person. What will define me is my tenacity to continue forward with more determination that ever.

About a month ago, I slipped into a deep depression. The monster came out and fucked a lot of things up. I was saturated in self hatred, in a desire to give up. I was exhausted; exhausted in fighting the monster, exhausted of losing, exhausted of running away from my problems only to keep running into more--because I am my problem, and I'm ultimately everywhere I run. And I felt like I was drowning. And I was completely alone, for the first time ever. I had absolutely no one to call. There was a not a soul to call, no savior to be found. I just sat in my car, alone in a park, crying.

But I did something different. I stopped thinking. I didn't let my mind wander to any thoughts of self hatred or self pity. I just felt the pain. And oh my goodness, I have never felt pain like this.

And then, I was done. And I drove home. Normally, after crying, I look like a red, puffy hot mess. This time, though, I looked in the mirror and saw that I was still beautiful. It was the oddest thought, but there it was. And after allowing myself to fully experience that pain, just genuinely feel it without any attachments, I found that I didn't hurt so much (a few days later, mind you). But I learned something invaluable. I learned that I could survive. I learned that it was okay to hurt, and I didn't need anyone to save me. I learned that after feeling the deepest pain I thought I'd ever felt, life went on.

And so I went back to Buddhism (which, in my opinion, is the only effective treatment for BPD). I remembered to let go of our attachments to emotions. We have this idea in our minds that there are "good" and "bad" emotions. Those are all labels. Limitations. Emotions are just fleeting experiences, things we must go through, get through and learn from. And borderline personality disorder is not who we are, but rather an experience we have. And with consistency and patience for the child learning to love herself, it is an experience that will pass, too. And we will emerge stronger.

And we can do it. We're survivors.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I'm back. And by "I", I mean the Holly I try to run away from, the Holly I try to so hard to leave behind. But the young little Holly inside of me is only more devastated when I have to come back and look her in the eyes, disgusted that she's still there.

And perhaps therein lies the problem. For a long time, I thought there was a monster in me; however, I recently realized that there's something worse--a poor, sad, neglected little girl. And she's so pathetic, I can't face her. And the problem is, I've come to resent her, just like my mother resented her. And so her heart only breaks more, and the darkness within me only consumes more of me.

I was doing well for sometime, and I actually endured more than I've ever managed to endure. And I told Fred I was nearing my breaking point. I told him I was at the point where "normally" I'd run away and lose all sense of reality. I finally admitted to him, and to myself, that I needed him. But what do you think happened? He let me down, and in a big way. I finally, for the first time, completely opened myself to him...and he left me alone. I tried to verbalize that I was hitting my breaking point, that I was at a point where my BPD was overwhelming me...and he neglected me. His parents were out of control, and he did nothing to defend or protect me.

And so I left him.

I've already talked to a few other guys. For once, my heart isn't breaking, but instead I'm breaking hearts by turning relationships down. I met someone who sees me for exactly who I am--he sees the strong and the vulnerable. He knows how fucked up I really am. And yet he wants to be with me because he thinks that I'm an amazing person. He wants to eventually, in the relatively near future, get a place together with Baby Boy. And I really liked him, but I'm actually being not-crazy and looking at him objectively. Six months ago, I would've jumped at this opportunity. But now, I'm strong enough to pick being alone over being with someone I know isn't my "dream man". I don't know what my dream man IS, but I know what he ISN'T. And I'm actually talking to guys, but not letting things get physical...can you believe it??

Nevertheless, I'm still flirting and dancing the night away, when I'm not talking care of my baby boy. I've already had three guys. The thing that really sucks is, the third is the closest I've ever had to my dream man. He, too, sees me for everything I am, everything I pretend to be, and everything I'm not. I even told him about the depression I've struggled with. But, he's my boss. And I'm at a big corporation, and he could lose his career. And people at work talk. And he wants to give me what I deserve. We know we can't sneak around. He and I are able to communicate so openly and efficiently, though, that this is all working out. I'm just bummed.

And what's bad is I already have a potential guy lined up.

I don't know how to be alone. I don't have to be, either, because there's always at least one guy lined up. I need to be alone, but I always want to find out if he might be the right guy...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Black Chevelle

"And then, he realized, everyone was looking at one thing only"

The air was thick that night, hot and still. He could still feel the fear running through his veins, pulsating in every part of his body. The neighborhood was quiet; not a single dog barked, not a single child laughed. How could anyone laugh when Belle was missing?

The afternoon's series of events washed over Steven again, sending a wave of nausea through him. Holly was inside putting Aiden to bed. Of everything that needed to be immediately dealt with, Aiden was the most heart wrenching. His eyes were the same as hers. He kept asking for Belle, asking for his baby sister. Where was she? What do you tell a seven year old?

The black Chevelle rolled slowly down the street. No one had noticed that it had already driven by twice, slowing each time in front of the Purta's home, where Belle and Aiden played in the sprinklers. Holly called Aiden in to bring out fresh watermelon--it was something she always did on hot summer days for the kids. Aiden went first to the restroom, and Holly had looked out the front window to see her beautiful five year old girl, expecting to see her waving back, but instead seeing her little legs being pulled into the car. Like her favorite princess, she had left one shoe behind.

Steven held onto her little pink jelly sandal as he crouched on the lawn. And he felt the tears begin to burn through the tough facade he had put up for his family's sake as he imagined his baby girl out there, scared and with only one shoe. He cried for Holly, who saw the shoe fall off her frail little foot. He cried for Aiden, who's youthful innocence was being shattered. And he cried for the fate of his family, for he knew what he would have to do to anyone who hurt his daughter.

That's when the media showed up, along with trails of people holding candles in tow. The dread inside of him only deepened. He could feel their sympathetic energy, their worst expectations for the situation evident by the candles they held. But he stood for the news crew, tears in his eyes still, and answered their questions. He asked for help, for his daughter back.

The street, though filled with people, was suddenly silent. And then, he realized, everyone was looking at one thing only: a black Chevelle rolling slowly towards them.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My most difficult challenge yet...

Here's this week's challenge:
"Songs I'll never listen to again"

This one was REALLY hard for me...I welcome any and all feedback!

The hallway's light was dim, the room at the end dark, except for her face. She was completely white, from her scalp to her lips. I felt the reaper's presence like a blanket, pulling us all under, suffocating us. For a second, I wondered if she was breathing. As if on cue, I saw her blankets gently rise. They seemed heavy on her frail body, crushing what was left of the life inside of her. I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

I went in the room and pulled one of the blankets off of her. I saw my three year old sister laying next to her, keeping contact with her, somehow, at all times. I understood. It was as if she lost contact, she'd lose our mother. All we had left of her was the physical.

I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

But this isn't about my strong mother who battled cancer, though I wish it was.

What was even more difficult to deal with than seeing her pushed to the brink of death my chemicals injected into her every week was her attitude. I saw other cancer patients joining support groups, helping each other. I saw them changing their lives, being thankful for each treatment available. They fought back. But my mother didn't fight. Though she was incredibly healthy for a cancer patient, she only held on to resentment. When I got sick, she told me, "At least you're not dying". She passed no hope to us. She was not strong.

"You know it's probably genetic, right?" she informed me one morning as she drove me to school, dropping me off late, as usual. I spent first period sobbing in a bathroom.

I saw my baby sister change from a sweet little toddler to a girl who was anxious, terrified of losing her mother. My mother welcomed the pity, and my sister could sense that my mother had no optimism.

But how could I hold it against her? I can't even fathom the suffering she endured.

After a year of being cancer-free, my mother was selfish. She believed that she got a second chance to indulge herself in everything. She didn't go to my swim meets, didn't look at my straight A's, didn't spend time with me. She had gotten a second chance at life, and she was wasting it.

Then one day, we got a phone call. Marilou, a woman she knew who'd had breast cancer, too, had passed away. She'd been clear for five years.

We dressed in black and went to her funeral. Her family walked her in as the music played.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

I saw my mother crying hysterically, and I knew that she wasn't crying for Marilou. She was crying for herself. She didn't care that Marilou had helped everyone she met, that Marilou had stayed strong for her three daughters. A disappointment so deep ran through my veins. And then, a sadness. Because if my mother ever passed, I would know that she never lived. She never gave compassion to others, never shared her wealth or time with the people who loved her. And when the day came for me to stand up and talk about how amazing and strong my mother was, I'd have nothing to say but lies.

I saw her selfishness and hatred hurt the people around her, and I saw it eat away at her until she found another lump on her breast. She was given a second chance, a chance to relive her life, and she had wasted it on herself.

I never listened to that song again, that song they played at Marilou's funeral. My mother was supposed to be my hero, but instead, she was leading herself to her demise.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Dancing Child

Here's my third writing challenge...life has been hectic lately, so I haven't been blogging much. Things are slowing down though, so I'll be back t blogging soon.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been"

The Opera House was dark, the silence so thick it was startling. I don't know why I broke in. My five inch stilettos clicked as moved down the isle and ascended the stairs. There it was, just as it always was in my dreams, that beautiful grand piano. And the stage was as magnificent, was still doorway to another world, another life. A life I never lived.

I heard my heels echoing throughout the house, and I remembered the sounds of tap, the movements of ballet, of girls gracefully weaving beauty through the stage. The last time I really danced was over ten years ago, when I was still in grade school. I dance every night now, in cheap, removable clothing on tacky stages in front of disgusting men. I let them rape me with their eyes, and if their wallet is big enough, I let them do whatever they want. But the last time I danced, I looked into the audience and saw no one. The last time I played the piano, there was no one to clap just for me. The house was full, but there were no eyes on me. People applauded, but it wasn't just for me. Now when I dance, all eyes are on me. They all want me.

But it was calling me. The grand piano was magnificent, it's beauty and power made my hands tingle. I zipped my sweater over my dance outfit and sat on the bench. Without thinking, without breathing, my fingers moved over the keyboard as if they'd never been away. Claire de Lune filled the hall, tears filling my eyes.

How many times does your daddy have to miss your recitals before you smoke a cigarette, before you move on to cocaine? How many times does your mother have to tell you you're worthless before you climb into the back of any guys car? How many times do you need to slit your wrists before you bleed all your dreams away? How many times does a little girl's heart break before she becomes a prostitute?

I remember looking into the audience, seeing families wave to their daughters, looking past me. And there was no one waving at me. I remember the first boy who gave me attention, told me I was beautiful. I remember him on top of me in the back of his car. I remember my first line of coke, the euphoric feeling, the numbness. And I remember the piano. I remember being called a prodigy.

For the first time, as I sat and played Debussy, flashes of what I might have been flashed before me. But I stopped, slipped my heels off, and stood to dance to the music in my soul, the part of me I left behind with a broken heart. I couldn't think about what I might've been, because I'll never know. I couldn't get those years back. I'd never be a child prodigy, because I'm not a child anymore.

But the child in my heart kept dancing. Tomorrow I know I'll go back to the club, but right now, I am all that I ever could have been.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Mind Adventure, the Soundtrack

This week's Indie Ink Challenge was "A mind adventure". I took this challenge and added a little music to it.

This response is very personal, and a bit redundant of my blog in its entirety, but it fit the prompt nonetheless. As always, I welcome constructive criticism.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. Except there were no diamonds. Only pain. I couldn't bring myself back. I felt the darkness enveloping me, pulling me beneath the surface. It was overwhelming, yet at the same time, numbing and familiar.

And so this darkness consumes me, controls me, paralyzes me. I saw the world moving around me, but I couldn't bring myself to join it. I felt separate from my body, cold. And I knew something was wrong. No matter how hard I willed myself, I could not find the usual persevering light within me. It was as if an ocean of darkness had put out my light. And I knew that I needed to get it back.

And the first thing I had to do was look in the mirror, something I had never dared to do. Something I had made a habit of running away from. Train roll on, on down the line. Won't you please take me far, away. But this time there was nowhere to run, because every where I ran, I kept running into myself.

A quick google search confirmed my worst nightmare.

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving).
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

Borderline Personality Disorder. Some call it a kiss of death. No cure, no medications, no streamline treatment. No hopeful discussion forums or encouraging websites. Instead I found websites, blogs, and forums that only deepened my overwhelming fear that I am inherently bad. There were sites telling our lovers to run the other way, support for family members talking about us as if we're parasites, evil, hopeless. The only medications treat our symptoms, not our problems. And therapists avoid the word "Borderline" because the diagnoses only tends to worsen the symptoms. But we need to be looked at. Accepted. Acknowledged.

I have spent my entire life feeling as if I was constantly battling this monster inside of me, this monster that was insecure, flighty, terrified, and filled with hate. I felt as if I have been climbing mountains my whole life, overcoming obstacles left and right, only to sit here with this diagnoses and realize that I am at the base of Mt. Everest. Climbed a mountain and I turned around and I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills, Till the landslide brought me down. But this time, I would not let this monster win. The child in my heart ached, throbbed. She longed to be held the way her mother never held her, longed to be unconditionally loved, but at the same time was terrified of the unknown, of "happiness". Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? I knew something that others forget. I AM NOT MY DIAGNOSES. I am not Borderline. I experience borderline, I experience emptiness, fear, impulsivity, fear of abandonment...but I am not those things. I have been hurt, but I have been strong. I failed, but I have overcome. And I will overcome this, I will endure the pain, and I will transcend my suffering into compassion, strength, and wisdom.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take this broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. And I started, piece by piece. There were days I couldn't get out of bed. Days I cut myself, days I found peace in meditation. There were days I cried for my inner child, days I sat in my car and screamed, experiencing the anger I had stifled for decades. Some days I was sickened by how much I hated myself, and there were days I was so proud of how far I had come.

And the pieces of my life started to fall together. Since I was a little girl, I loved the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's; I identified, oddly, with Holly Golightly. And then, I realized that her character had BPD. My obsession with birds, with the feeling of being in a cage, all made sense. You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. I thought other people were putting me in a cage, that my free bird needed to get away from the man I loved, the man who loves me unconditionally. My free bird was without a doubt singing of freedom, but it was singing for freedom from the monster inside of me, the darkness that was taking my song. And with facing that darkness, embracing my suffering, my free bird is spreading it's wings. Oh won't you fly, high, oh free bird, yeah.

And here I am, on my mind adventure, on a path towards happiness and enlightenment. But the best realization is that happiness is not a destination, it's a path. It's embracing the suffering in me, but also nurturing the good. I still have my bad days, and things aren't easy. My life is a mess. But that hatred is gone. And in it's place is compassion, compassion for myself and for the world around me, even those who have hurt me.

Blackbird, fly.