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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My First Writing Challenge

This is my first Indie Ink Challenge. I haven't done fictional writing in about eight years, so I'm very rusty. But I wanted to push myself, so I gave it a whirl. Cheers to a starting point, and to improvement over time!

A wonderful Star Trek reference:
"The good of the one outweighs the good of the many."

(FYI, my son's middle name is Tiberius)

That was the night I realized that I knew nothing.
Looking around the room at the remains of yet another failed family Christmas gathering, I saw the demise of my family among the unopened presents and empty glasses of hard cider.
As if he wasn't already drunk enough, my husband was by now drinking away his sorrows at some dive bar, most likely picking up on the nearest woman. I can't remember the last time he touched me, or even slept in the same bed as me. My children were gone, angry or crying. Or both.
Sitting there with only the dim tree lights, flashes of my children passed before me. My youngest, failing yet another semester at community college. My oldest, dumped yet again by a cheating bitch. And then there's my middle, my Anna. She just has so much anger.
"Stop trying to fucking save everyone! Look at you. You can't even take care of yourself. You're a fucking disgrace." I could hear her disgust with me as she told me this before slamming the door.
And looking at myself, she was right. I was wearing the same outfit I wore last Christmas, along with the fake smile I'd been wearing for 29 years, since the day of my shotgun wedding. I gave my life to my family, feigning happiness, taking care of all of their needs, giving them everything and myself nothing. I thought I knew what was best for them, but I ruined them. My husband is still an alcoholic thanks to my blind-eye and picture-perfect family facade. My children can't do their own homework, can't function in a relationship, and resent me. Was I grandiose enough to think that I could save everyone?
No, I was stupid enough to believe that I knew what was right. I gave my life to my family, selflessly, because I felt that the good of many outweighed the good of one, of me. This, of course, assumes that I know what good is. And I didn't. In my self-righteous selflessness, I ignored the fact that I could be wrong. Perhaps divorce can be the best thing for a family. Perhaps letting a child fail second grade is the best thing to do.
I don't know. I really fucking don't. All I know is what is most likely good for me. Shit, I don't even know that. I don't know the right answer, I don't know what is "good". And I'm done pretending. I'm done with rescuing others. My children are grown and can't even rescue themselves. How can we impress our values, our definition of "good" and "right" onto others? How can I say that the good of many outweighs anything, when I have no right to assume what is good for someone else since I obviously don't know what is right for me, for one?
And I cried tears of failure, of decisions I could never take back, of a life I could never relive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Self-hatred CAN lead to healing...maybe

Do you think that, in order to change yourself (and I mean truly change, as in re-wire your brain to alter your perceptions and reactions to the world), that you must first hate yourself?

What prompted this train of thought was talking to my Aunt S. She recently caught on to the wonders of Buddhism, and she actually went on the yoga retreat with Shiva Rea. She considers herself quite enlightened. But I still sense a lot of anger, sadness, and fear in her. And A LOT of denial. She keeps telling me that I need to just let go, that I need to stop focusing any energy on the negative experiences I've had. I'm not sure, maybe she's right. But my understanding is that you have to deal with those issues. Those negative experiences directly correlate with the behaviors, thoughts, habits ect. (aka the borderline in me) that I want to change. So how can I change something I don't understand? How can you change something that you don't know inside and out?

I think too many people get caught up in the suffering aspect of the healing process, though--this is what my aunt is referring to. It's like being stuck on a rat wheel. But giving your past sufferings attention is only going to put you on a rat wheel if your not focusing forward. There need to be connections. Yes, my mom hit me so hard my nose bled, and the emotional abuse ran so deep that I immediately ran into her arms for comfort. I do need to validate that pain. I need to let my inner child grieve, I need to comfort that inner child, and I also need to let that inner child know she's safe now, because I've grown up and I am strong enough to protect her. I know now that incident made me run back to people after they mistreated me because I wanted to be accepted so badly. That's the suffering's connection to my present day behavior. So I deal with suffering...this is especially important to me, because I grew up with all of my suffering being invalidated by my aunts (my mom is the oldest of nine kids...) because my mother manipulated them (and almost all of them have BPD to some degree). And then, I transform the suffering. I turn it into forgiveness, into unconditional love, into genuine compassion. The trick is, I do all this while protecting my inner child. I will not let her get mistreated any more (okay, I'm working on it. Beth is my greatest teacher for this right now...), and I will set healthy boundaries (accomplished...my mom and I have a safe relationship right now!) that won't let her get hit over and over again. But I know I'm a wonderful friend. I know that I am the change I wish to see in the world, because no one ever gave me that second chance. If I made a mistake, that was it, I was bad. But that isn't right. People need help, people need forgiveness and compassion. They need someone who believes in the good in them, because sometimes its hard for people to believe in the good in themselves.

But back to the hate thing...I noticed that my aunt cannot admit to the emotional trauma she caused me. She flat out denies that incidents occurred. "You are mistaken," is what she said. But there were concrete incidents that she couldn't deny, and she avoided discussing them like the plague. She went off on all these tangents filled with anger, but mostly I saw that she was protecting herself. She could not deal with what she had done, with who she was, and it's probably because she'd hate herself for what she did to me.

My Aunt Patricia was murdered right after I turned a year old. For years, my grandma would just be sitting in the kitchen, crying. And I didn't know why. I was only three, four years old. And I remember asking Aunt S why she was crying, and she told me that it was because of me. I felt AWFUL. Or when I would make a mistake, she'd look at me with disgust and say, "What were you thinking??" I would fill up with so much hatred for myself, because I felt like I must be so inherently bad for screwing up the way I had. The worst thing she did was when I found out that I pregnant. My mom was too ashamed to tell anyone, so when I was planning the baby shower she wouldn't give any of our family and friends' addresses to us. So for the online registration, I didn't put her address as a shipping address...what I didn't realize was that made her not listed as a grandparent. Stupid, I know. But in her Borderline Rage, she couldn't decide whether to talk to me or shun me all together. So my Aunt S gave her my book, Understanding the Borderline Mother, which was filled with my annotations. She told my mom that she wanted her to have the book so she could see how much I hated her. That was absolutely incorrect guidance, because the purpose of that book was first to validate what I had experienced, and secondly how to live with her as she was. Why the hell would I want to learn to work with her disorder if I hated her? The love I have for my mother is unlike anything I have ever experienced. And so I was alone for my whole pregnancy, and the first nine months of having a baby. I didn't have my mommy.
But not once did I blame my aunt for this. All she did was talk about how I could go ahead and blame her, and never talk to her again, blah blah blah...and then it dawned on me. She blamed herself. And if she focused on that, she would hate herself, because what she did was awful. And she isn't strong enough to deal with that. She wouldn't be able to move past the hate. So she lives in denial.

All Borderlines hate themselves, deep down. A lot of us are aware of it. The trick is taking that hatred, embracing it, understanding it, validating it. And then, transforming it. Using that energy to learn from it. Hatred is just an emotion, just energy. When all that energy is redirected into healing, amazing things can happen. I'm seeing those amazing things every day.

A little Self Love

On Lance's blog, a "writing assignment" he had was to write a love letter to himself. Today I sat down with the intention to bitch about Beth some more. I keep meaning to sit and write her a letter (that I will never give to her, but instead use as a form of expression to help clarify my thoughts and prepare for a way to tactfully discuss the issues with her), but every time I sit down, I just don't feel like it. I don't feel like getting myself so worked up. Perhaps if I don't talk about her out loud for a few days I'll have enough pent up anger to vent. Until then, I'm going to put some positive self love out there. I'm stalling though. This is very difficult and awkward for me. I'm tempted to ramble on about how my mom made me believe that I couldn't be special, ect...but no. Here I go.

You are amazing. You're beautiful. You're insightful. In the midst of depression, you were self-aware enough to note that something was very wrong, more wrong than depression. You were honest with yourself, you were strong and courageous enough to look in the mirror and admit that you, like your mother and your aunts, have Borderline Personality Disorder. I know that day was hard on you. Like most children, you vowed never to become your mother...and you didn't, don't forget that! BPD has so many variations, and you are not angry. You don't have uncontrollable rage. You don't hurt your son. And you're not completely disassociated with reality. But there is a disconnect between what you know about yourself and what you believe about yourself. But you're working on changing that, and it's remarkable that you were the one to name it, to acknowledge the disconnect.

You are the strongest, most intuitive person you've ever met. Since you were a little girl, you've been devoting so much energy into transcending your suffering into strength, compassion, wisdom, and hope. At ten years old, in your first diary, you wrote that you had hatred in your heart and you knew you needed to write to get it out. That is brilliant! That type of self-awareness is remarkable for a grown adult, needless to say a ten year old girl. You were a ten year old girl who never gave up. No matter how much your heart was breaking, you kept your chin up and wrote your little heart out, read every book you could find, and dreamt of a better day, a day that you would make. You never treated kids cruelly, even though they bullied, teased, and hurt you.

It's incredibly impressive that you're able to sit and look at your actions and understand why you act the way you do. There's a lot of hatred in your heart, but you're starting to understand that it isn't your hatred in there, it's your mother's. Regardless, it took all your strength and then some to look yourself in the mirror and confront the darkness. And oh it was a valiant fight. The darkness, at times, swept you underneath, drowning you, disorienting you. And you didn't want to kill yourself, but you just wanted the pain to stop. And the antidepressants you were given worked so quickly, that you thought it couldn't be the medication, it must be my mindset. And so you stopped the medication and got pulled under the darkness once again. And I am SO proud of you deciding to keep fighting. The antidepressants only numbed you to the pain, and when you were numb you weren't aware, so you couldn't fix the root problems. You were brave enough to look the monster in you straight in the eyes and say "Fuck off". You knew you were stronger than it, and you were so right.

You're taking all the right steps to re-wiring your brain. You do yoga 3-5 times a week, you go to an Ayurvedic Consultant, a Psychologist, and a Life Coach. You practice meditation and read every book you can get your hands on...anything by Thich Nhat Hanh is an instant winner. And it's working. You're not freaking out like you used to. You're able to separate yourself from your emotions and experiences. If you don't get a job, you don't internalize it. If you start to feel bad, you just acknowledge that you're having a Borderline moment, you deal with it, and then you move on.

I love the person you are. You're hippie-chic. You're passionate about whatever you do. You wear beautiful skirts, your comfy Naot sandals, handmade jewelry from Tibetan shops, flowing tops, and basically anything Free People. You really do have amazing style. You love the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, The Doors...you love to hike and swim. You use yoga as a means of self therapy, and you've been utilizing Buddhism in your life since you were sixteen. You love Audrey Hepburn movies, Apple products (three cheers for my new iPad2!), Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama (who you met and hugged...there's gotta be good karma coming your way). You have an identity, and it's truly a remarkable one.

Wherever you go, people are drawn to you. You have such an amazing smile, big, beautiful brown eyes, and a kindness that people sense. People can tell that you're compassionate. And boy, are you compassionate. Your mother abused you growing up, never gave you affection, the whole nine yards. And you've forgiven her because you understand her pain, you understand that she's in a darker place than you've ever been. On Easter, you couldn't find her or your baby boy (16 months old now!), and you found them sitting on the floor together in her walk-in closet. Your mom was so happy with him, and she was loving him in a way that she never loved you. And Baby adores her, too. But there was not an ounce of jealousy or resentment in you. Instead, you were so happy that it brought tears to your eyes--and you almost never cry.

You're a wonderful person, and you've been fortunate enough to find someone who sees you for who you truly are. He loves your soul. It's not just about your 23" waist, or the fact that your pretty, or even the fact that your highly intelligent. He loves you because you're different, because of your self-awareness, compassion, strength, motivation, and (as he puts it) "cute" personality. And you're a great partner. Right now, you're very focused on healing yourself, but you still make time to take care of him, and you always do a phenomenal job in the bedroom. And, you guys made a BEAUTIFUL baby. He truly is amazing. He has the best disposition, he's very intuitive, intelligent, and he's the cutest little guy anyone ever did see.

You're also a great mother. This is the thing you almost neglected. Don't listen to Beth. Yes, she is very draining. Her negativity suffocates you, and it does impede your parenting abilities. But remember last week when it was just the two of you while they were gone camping? It was great! And the healthier you get, the more energy you have to reach your full potential in all other aspects of your life. You're going about things the smart way...you're building a strong personal foundation before tackling the rest of the world.

Don't be so hard on yourself. As Billy Joel said, slow down, you crazy child. You're only TWENTY YEARS OLD! Well, almost 21. But you are wiser than people twice your age, and you've found all the answers within yourself by your own motivation. I know you wish you were on track to graduating with a degree. But you have learned so much in these past few years, and you still get great job offers. You'll get your degree. You'll be able to do what you want, and you know that you'll be successful in any endeavor you choose.

....and now you're worried that people won't like your blog anymore and will stop following it. Ugh.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's been awhile

Stole this from Haven over at Beyond the Borderline Personality and figured why not have some fun, too?

1. If money didn't matter, where would your perfect vacation take place? Briefly describe.

 2. What's a bad habit that you have {or had} that is/was hard to break?

 3. If you weren't on a diet or counting calories, what would you like to have for dinner tonight?

 4. If you had the chance to interview anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what's one question that you would ask?

 5. Describe yourself in 6 words.


1.) I absolutely love to travel, so on one hand I'd want to tour Italy again, only this time without a guide, or I'd want to go on a Yoga Retreat with Shiva Rea. The retreat is probably my #1 vacation goal...yoga three times a day, all inclusive resort in India, going to the tree where the Buddha was enlightened, riding an Elephant, feeding the homeless, Ayurvedic Massages every day...simply amazing.

2.) Ugh, where do I even start? I don't drink, I don't smoke, but I love to flirt. I'm working on not flirting, but my eyes flirt without me even wanting to! I've been told I scream sexuality. I wish I could just keep that to myself (and a chosen partner!).

3.) I definitely don't calorie count or subscribe to a diet. But I'd love some sushi right now. Or, my favorite home dinner is sloppy joes with macaroni and cheese. Simple, nostalgic, delicious.

4.) Thich Nhat Hanh: Do I need to just let go of the past to heal, or do I need to focus on the past adequately before I can truly move on?

5.) Blackbird singing in the dead of night.

And as for me? I'm in a survival float right now. Got an email from the Family I was going to Nanny for saying that they decided to go with someone else. I've sent out about 50 resumes. I have about 3 options (well, one is a Nanny Recruiting Agency, so that's one option with a lot of options), so I'm hoping that by the end of this week I'll have a job. 

Fred and his family went camping, and there was no way in hell I was going to be in a tiny campsite with his mother for a whole week. I absolutely LOVE camping and really wanted to be there, but I knew it wouldn't be good for me. And then, Baby got really sick with his asthma, so he got to stay behind with me. And it was amazing. Not having Beth around made my mind feel SO much more clear. I'm so tired of her being passive aggressive. She obviously doesn't like me, is obviously trying to, and is obviously failing. Her lack of compassion and poor opinion of me as a mother and person in general are very clear in the snide little remarks she makes towards me. AND she ALWAYS acts like she's Baby's mother. She'll take over something I'm doing even when I tell her I've got it under control. She shows no consideration for how difficult this living situation is for me, and shows absolutely no respect for me as a mother. 

Today was the worst Mother's Day ever. Spent the entire day at my grandparent's house to celebrate my Grandpa's 70th birthday, which was fine. Usual family drama, but it didn't involve me, so I could quietly observe. But when we got back to Fred's house, Beth was sick (bad cough) and was supposed to be in bed. Well, I'm happily playing with Baby, and the bitch comes over and takes over. It's MOTHERS DAY and she comes to take my son away from me when she's sick. All week I had such an amazing time with him, but I didn't get to go to yoga at all, and Fred accidentally took my herbs in his backpack with him camping, so I didn't have any to take all week, and I had to reschedule my life coaching appointment. I was doing such a great job, too! By the end of the week my patience was wearing, and I had a Borderline day on Saturday because I was SO stressed and anxious about Beth coming home...with everything I did I could just hear her snide remarks in the back of my head, and they made me so angry. Baby senses my anger, too, and it's not good. And it makes me not 100% focused on him. 

I need to find a way to move Fred and I into a place together, with our baby, away from his mother. I want nothing to do with her. She is the bane of my existence. She doesn't need to adore me, hell, she doesn't even need to like me after what I've put her son through. But she needs to treat me like a human being. And I deserve the respect of being a human being and Baby's Mother. 

But, Glee did Fleetwood Mac's Rumours Album this week and that made me so happy. Love love loved it! Another random thing that was on my mind today...Everyone I've ever talked to hates Rachel. I'm not selfish and as extremely crazy as she is, but she was always my favorite character and I kind of identified with her (except I dress really well and "scream sexuality") for some reason. I told Fred this today, and he laughed and said that was ironic, because her personality was his favorite on Glee, too. I guess I should count my blessings that I found someone who completely loves and accepts me for who I am.

And I still believe that BPD is curable, and that it is not who we are. It is something we're experiencing. Fact is, we don't have the answers. We have no way of knowing what reality truly is, because everything we know comes through our perceptions of experience. So, our perceptions are everything. We have control over what reality is. I could be wrong. I could be right. But all I know is, I'm getting better. I'm not perfect, and I never want to be...I always want to improve myself, and thanks to my lifelong friend called BPD, I'll always get to. But I get to decide who I am, what my personality is, ect. We CAN rewire our brains without a lobotomy. It just takes a lot of work, a lot of pain. But once we stop seeing suffering as a bad thing, and instead as a part of the path to healing and enlightenment, it becomes so much easier. I'm reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child, and he says, "It's through our suffering that we can see the path of enlightenment, compassion, and love. It's by looking deeply into the nature of our sorrow, our pain, our suffering, that we can find a way out."
The hard part for us, though, is then letting go of the pain...Thich Nhat Hanh recognizes this, too:
"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar."
Since today is Mother's Day (or was, now it's Monday...) Here's a picture and a song-quote for my beautiful Baby Boy. Today, I celebrated him.

"For you, there'll be no more crying,
For you, the sun will be shining,
To you, I'll give the world
to you, I'll never be cold"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Monster in Me

I think that the most common misconceptions about BPD are that we are monsters and that we cannot, under any circumstance, change.

1. We are monsters
I've been doing a lot of research, reading a lot of blogs, and I notice that there is this definite negative overtone regarding borderlines...and the sad thing is, it's accepted as okay, even by other borderlines. There are more support groups for people "dealing with" someone who has BPD than there are support groups for people with BPD to get help. So first, to all you people who "have to deal with" some one who has Borderline Personality Disorder...I get it. We're difficult. We're an emotional roller coaster. Some of us have rages, temper tantrums, and are manipulative in various ways. But remember that these are all symptoms. They are not who we are. They're the signs of a pain so terrible is unfathomable to anyone who hasn't been on the inside of personality disorders, depression ect. If you think you're living an emotional roller coaster, stop for a second and have some compassion, because we have a constant emotional tornado ripping through our bodies.
And there are a lot of professionals who write about borderline personality for non-borderlines. I read so many negative phrases:
  • "If they're committed to change, they might improve". How about sending some positive energy our way? That's what we drastically need. Let's rephrase: "When they truly commit to change, they will improve". I'm not saying I'm cured, but I am committed to change. Every moment of the day I am mindful of my thoughts, and I am mindful of changing the way my brain is wired, and I HAVE seen an amazing difference already. IT IS POSSIBLE.
  • "...a wolf in sheep's clothing, but no less diabolical" Okay, we're not diabolical. It's not like we want to be manipulative. We're hurt, we're scared. I'm not saying that we do things the preferable way, BUT DO NOT MAKE US OUT TO BE BAD. Reading shit like these articles doesn't help anyone. Think of it this way...the Borderline who googles "Borderline Personality Disorder" is already one step towards awareness and change. Imagine the great set back we all face when every article we read confirms our greatest fear: that we are inherently bad. And for the friends/family these articles are being written for, it just makes it worse for them because they get a negative attitude about us, and since we're sensitive we pick up on it and freak out even more. It's a lose-lose situation. 
  • "At some point in this dynamic, you must ask yourself; "what's the payoff, in my wanting to be involved...?" Gee, thanks, thanks a lot. Way to help the Borderlines of the world, tell everyone they're not worth sticking around for. But we are. We're incredibly strong and resilient, because our disorder is the by-product of having survived something painful, something terrible. At one point, or maybe multiple points, in our lives, BPD has saved us from completely crumbling. But now we need to realize that we don't need these Borderline tendencies anymore...we can find the organic strength within and rise above the misery.
  • I read a lot about how borderlines make you feel guilty, make you hate yourself, make you tend to your every need...". Hey, we're out here trying to get help because we're owning up, admitting we have a problem and trying our damnedest to take responsibility for this. So how about you all grow a pair and take responsibility for your own emotions, too? On a more compassionate note, that's not to say living with a borderline is hard. BUT we have a mental illness. No one hated on Lennie for squishing the mouse (kudos to those who get the reference)...you don't call a severely Autistic kid dramatic and inappropriate for freaking out at a restaurant. But, the difference with Borderlines is that we can (and should) be held responsible for our actions. It sucks, yes, but we learn and grow. We can change, its just scary and it hurts like hell.
A good example of showing compassion for a Borderline is me and my mother. She is the angry, abusive, entirely disconnected from reality borderline. And boy did she abuse me. But when I see her, it does not trigger me, and I cannot feel anything but compassion for her, because I know that she lives in a world of sadness, darkness, and pain. I know how scary it is. And I know that she just wants love. She really does just want me close to her so badly. She doesn't mean to hurt me (now that I'm older its only emotional abuse, boundary violation ect). And when she does, now that I'm older I do hold her accountable for what she did, but I do so with compassion. When she read my diary and told my dad and Fred everything I wrote (and lied, and exaggerated...me being curious about mushrooms turned into me being addicted to cocaine...), I told her that what she did was unacceptable and not okay under any circumstance. I told her that I love her very much, that I'm not going to abandon her or take her grandbaby out of her life, but that I am going to move away from her and take some space. This was the first time I ever responded to her with complete compassion, and you know what...it worked. She apologized. She has NEVER apologized to me. EVER EVER EVER. I know she was trying to win me back, but hey, it's progress. I go visit her, we talk about neutral things, and she plays with Baby. And I can see how happy it makes her to be with Baby, so I send her little text messages about Baby asking to see her, or I send her pictures of him blowing the camera a kiss.

2. We cannot change
Wrong again! We can change. It's just so hard when everywhere we turn for help (family, friends, the internet, blogging...) we are faced with confirmations of our greatest fears (as mentioned above).
But we can change the way our brain is wired, and therefore the way our mind responds to things. "When your mind changes, your brain changes, too. In the saying from the work of psychologist Donald Hebb: when neurons fire together, they wire together--mental activity actually creates new structures". This is the opening sentence from the book I just started reading this morning, Buddha's Brain, the practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom. If we can change our brains, we can literally change our lives.
I have already changed. I'm still experiencing borderline moments, but I call them for what they are. I recognize that I might be overly sensitive, but that it's okay to feel the emotion nonetheless. And then I let it pass. I'm working on healing my inner child, the child that longs for a mother and causes me to seek validation anywhere I can get it. I'm teaching my sex kitten find confidence in herself rather than in others (and teaching her that a vibrator is her new best friend...). And now, things that would have sent me over the edge just two months ago are now something that I observe and learn from.

Changing isn't easy. We cannot be changed...rather, the change must come from within. And to summon that change, we have to look within and face the darkness, the hurt, the anger, the hatred...and that is what's hard. That is where most of us get stuck. And so we look for ways to heal on google, and then we just find all this garbage about what awful people we are. Well here's my anger speaking: Fuck you, you try and deal with the shit I've gone through and come out more sane than I am. I'm hurt. Very hurt. We need to love ourselves, and having a little love, support and compassion from those around us is more of a conducive environment for healing than focusing on our symptoms. Yes, our symptoms suck. When you have a viral illness, you don't say that you have vomiting.

Okay, time to go to yoga. As I read my book, I will keep posting on how WE CAN CHANGE.

The Waif?

Oh Goly, gee damn.

Just when I was feeling better, feeling all Buddhist and like I was grasping some sort of control on my personality disorder, I start to feel the inevitable doom again. But then, I stopped it. I did it. It's working. My self-therapy is working. Kind of. That hopelessness is still deep down in the pit of my stomach, but at least now I'm feeling okay. I'm not focusing on the negative. It comes and goes. I feel a little rush of worry, anxiety, panic...and then it goes.

I have to be up in just over five hours. So I'm going to sip my chamomile tea, take my herbs, read a positive book about changing your mind, and I'm going to go to sleep. I'm going to overcome this. I want to write more about what went on tonight, but I'll do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yoga FTW!

Tonight was great. Around 4pm, I felt a little down, because I read somewhere that BPD cannot be changed by just wanting to change and working hard to change your thought process. I felt as if I were suffocating, as if there was no reason to leave my little studio apartment. I could feel myself sinking, I could feel the ice cold water start to fill my lungs as the dark waters enveloped me.

But I promised my life coach I was going to go to her yoga class. And so I got my butt off the computer seat, put on my yoga pants, and got in the car only to realize that I don't own a yoga mat!! The studio I've been going to has free mats you can use. So I rush to target, but by the time I get back in my car there's no way I'll be able to make it to my life coach's class. So I stop at Jamba Juice, get my beloved Macha Green Tea, and relax for a little until the Hatha Yoga class starts at the studio I've been going to...I'm still in my $30 for 30 days trial period, so I might as well get my money's worth!

I have something called patella femoral syndrome (hoorah, another issue!). Basically, my hips, knee caps and ankles don't line up due to the fact that my knee cap isn't in line with my femur bone since the cartilage is (essentially) gone. Normally yoga is really hard for me, because I can't do the poses the "right" way. And being me, I always stress that people are looking at me, that I'm a failure, and I feel the need to be doing it perfectly. But today, I just did it the way it felt good for my body. And when my teacher started to tell me, out loud, that I needed to straighten my foot, I just said my foot doesn't go that way. And you know what?? It was OKAY. She was GLAD that I told her! And she told the class to take after me by doing what's right for their own body!

And when I went to Fred's house to see Baby, he was so happy to see me. He ran out with a big smile and brought me into the living room to play with him. And with the endorphins running through me, and with the success of just experiencing yoga and not letting my Manager voice ruin it, I had more energy to play with him and take care of him tonight than I've had in months...actually, ever. This was genuine energy. It wasn't a show, it wasn't something I had to work hard to do. We just had fun. And I got in the bath tub with him and taught him how to kick with straight legs (I was a swim teacher for fie years), and we had a splash fight. And he fell asleep, so peacefully, in my arms. It was wonderful to see a direct correlation between doing the things I want to do (yoga, meditation, herbs, ect) and my relationship with my son. He was SO happy. He didn't want me to leave his sight. He knew his mommy was 100% there for the first time in a looooong time.

And as I drove home from Fred's house to my little studio, I was happily thinking about the wonderful effect yoga had on me, specifically how just accepting that my body was different made the whole experience that much better. I can't physically do the poses like everyone else, but I can still stretch the same muscles and have the same spiritual experience. My body is just a little twisted. And then it dawned on me...my body is twisted just like my mind is a little twisted. I might not think like everyone, and things may be harder for me, but that's okay. Because I am strong enough to change the way I think. I am strong enough to separate myself from my emotions and experiences. I'm strong enough to realize that I may have borderline experiences, but I AM NOT BORDERLINE (screams the crazy girl...haha).

I'm drinking my warm water, taking my bedtime herbs my Ayurvedic Consultant gave to me, and I'm going to get restful sleep for yoga at 8am =)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Beginning

So, I lost my job on Friday. It's Monday, and I already have another job. In fact, this job has better hours, I get every weekend off, and I get paid $10k more a year.

I'm looking forward to a new beginning. I get some time off between jobs to really clean my little home up, get it organized, get myself organized...I'm starting my Ayurveda Therapy, my Life Coach sessions, and now I won't be working crazy retail hours...it'll be a nice 9-5, Monday-Friday.

I want to live a better life. My place is a mess. I haven't done yoga since Thursday, I haven't meditated at all, I forgot to take my herbs last night AND this morning, and I haven't started reading any of my books. And I'm exhausted.
But, to give myself credit, I handled losing my job without having any form a breakdown.
And yesterday I saw my entire Mom's side of the family and I came out alive and well. I told one of my aunt's off and was SO proud of myself. This was the Catholic Aunt who has always given me a hard time about calling myself a Buddhist. Mind you, she is the most judgmental, cruel, compassionless person in my family. At least my mom puts a facade on, Catholic Aunt is just raging angry, emotional, dissociated with reality BPD. Yikes. It obviously runs in the family. Anyways, so Catholic Aunt was giving me a hard time about "being Buddhist" (which I actually don't consider myself to be, ESPECIALLY since identifying with a religion and labeling yourself is very not-Buddhist, and its also not very good for someone with BPD to allow themselves to latch onto identities), saying I don't go to a temple, and I like clothes too much to be a Buddhist. So I said, "I know I'm not perfect, but I was under the impression that followers of Christ were supposed to be compassionate and not judgmental." HA. Take that, you Catholic hypocrites. And she didn't give me shit for the rest of the day. Muahahaha.

And my Baby loves my mother. And she's so good to him. At the same time my stepdad realized my mom was missing from the front room, I realized Baby was missing. I found them sitting alone together in my mother's massive walk-in closet. She had made him his own special little Easter basket, and they were just sitting together playing. It was the sweetest thing. And Baby loves her so, so much, and I can see how good it is for my mother. They're so happy together. Since he isn't her child, there's absolutely no anger involved with him. Its the same with my grandmother and I. She never validated her children, never brushed their hair, never played with them, never expressed love. Granted, she had 9 kids, but still. With me, though, she was so loving! She always played with my hair, hugged me, spoiled me with attention and food...even to this day, she still treats me like her baby (in hindsight, I'm sure part of the reason my mom and aunts were so mean to me was because of jealousy and resentment). So it makes me happy to see my mom and Baby together, because I know he brings her happiness that isn't related to any of her inner demons.

I honestly don't hold any resentment or anger towards my mom. I understand that she's sick. I know I talk about how she hurt me a lot, but that's me trying to put the pieces together. Just as she has a distorted view of reality, I have a distorted view of her. One one hand there's the disgusted, angry mother raising her hand to hit me...and on the other hand, there's my mom sitting peacefully with my son, happy and validated by his unconditional and genuine love. On that hand, I see her pain. I understand the darkness that lies within her, and I know how terrified and lonely she must feel. I love her, and I will never stop, regardless of what she has done to me. I know she just needs love. I can't help her, she has to help herself, but I will love her.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maybe Okay?

So, I lost my job.

And I'm surprisingly okay. I'm staying focused on the FACTS. I already applied for a couple of jobs, and I have an interview Monday morning. Ironically, its for a job that will pay me at least $5 more an hour, and I was already making good money at my old job, considering my age and lack of degree.

My biggest challenge on a day-to-day basis right now is Fred's dear mother, Beth. Beth is the bane of my existence, and she is absolutely kryptonite for BPD. I met Beth when I was fifteen years old, and she saw all of the abuse and pain I suffered growing up. She was like the mother I never had. We did volunteer work together, cooked together, and were both into the same spiritual/personal development topics. I even took her with me to the PeaceJam Conference in 2006 to hear the Dalai Lama (I actually snuck around security, HUGGED The Dalai Lama, and he said Namaste to me!). I loved her so much, and went to her with all my problems as if she were my mother.

When I turned 18, Fred and I broke up for about two months. It was a combination of graduating high school, turning 18, and the first feelings of engulfment. When we got back together, there was a notable difference. She made little snide remarks, and when I walked in it was OBVIOUS that I was not welcome in her home. I was very confused, because Fred's brother's girlfriend had broken up with him the previous year, and SHE was a bitch. She threw temper tantrums in public, whined 24/7, used him, wore tiny little skirts to family dinners, cheated on him, and talked crap about him. Beth always talked about how she missed the exgirlfriend so much, and she would always say that she was praying for her and still wanted her to come visit. What the fuck?? I took her to meet the Dalai Lama and am totally take-home-to-mom material....mothers LOVE me!
One day I cried to Fred because I felt so awful, so unwelcomed and mistreated. He then talked to his mother, who had an epiphany. Fred, his parents, and I had a group discussion about this epiphany. Beth realized (and admitted) that I "never had a chance" because any girl who dated Fred (she basically admitted that Fred is her favorite son) wouldn't be good enough, and anyone who hurt him or wasn't PERFECT was going to bother her. She went on to say that she was glad she realized this, because she never understood why she had to try so hard to force herself to act like she liked me. Whooooaaaa. Talk about my poor, eighteen year old heart breaking. And my fifteen year old heart broke, too, because I thought she loved me. And I found out that she was faking it.
So I gently voiced my hurt by saying "It really hurts that this whole time you were faking liking me, that you never liked me..."
She denied it, that wasn't it. I repeated what she had said and then tried to voice my feelings again, but her husband defended her and said "She wasn't faking, she was trying".
And Fred stayed quite.
My heart was broken, and I felt so invalidated. Everyone was so happy for Beth, it was all about how wonderful it was that she had healed. And I just sat there, my heart breaking into a million pieces. Not only did my own mother hate me, but now I find out that this bitch had been FAKING. How does a woman in her forties dislike a teenage girl who comes to her crying about how her mother abuses her??

And now, with my depression, she just doesn't get it. We've talked again, and she apologized for never realizing how hurt I was. And she said it always just bothers her because she can tell I'm always trying to please everyone. So I was, once again, open with her. I told her about BPD, about my depression, and about how trying hard to make everyone like me is a part of my disorder. And the bitch still says snide little comments to me.
One day, in the midst of a REALLY bad depression, I could see that Fred was stressed and drained. So I offered him a back massage without wanting or expecting one in return. Keep in mind that I'm feeling like shit, and I'm his mother is nearby and in plain sight. But damn it, I love him and care about him and am trying SO HARD. When I was done massaging me, he had me lay on the floor next to him, and he started massaging my neck. Beth goes, "Huh, that sure was a short massage for Fred. How did it turn into being all about Holly?" I was so fucking angry that I got up and went to sleep for hours in the middle of the day. I don't know what to do with anger (because I'm afraid of turning into my mother), so I always go to sleep when I'm really angry. Right when I went to sleep, our son woke up. Fred got him and took him downstairs. As I drifted in and out of sleep, I heard various remarks from Beth, among them, "How is it that when Baby wakes up, Holly gets to take a nap and you have to do everything?"
I had a chat with Beth afterwards about these snide remarks. She said that she thought I was just "making it all about Holly". See, this bothers me because I put my son first for everything. I had to have the strength to admit that I am not being a good enough mother for him and do not live with him full time. I was angry, and instead of letting him sense my anger towards Beth, I completely removed myself from the situation. For some reason, Beth seems to just think I am inherently bad.
But, I had faith that after this specific talk, and after I really made it clear how hard things were at the moment, I hoped that she would have some fucking compassion. Wrong!
I don't get to see my son as often. When I was in a really bad place a few weeks ago, I only had strength and energy to see him for a few hours at a time. The day after I had that last chat with Beth, I show up to see Aiden and she says, "Oh, Mommy better read all those books to you to make up for lost time!" FUCK YOU! YOU THINK I WANT YOU RAISING MY SON? DO YOU THINK I WANT TO BE DEPRESSED? DO YOU THINK I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE HIM EVERYTHING HE DESERVES? AND WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME, YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO COMPASSION OR STRENGTH! YOU'RE NEARLY FIFTY AND I'M MORE SELF AWARE THAN YOU ARE!
Ugh. And she LOVES to tell me what Baby is like, as if I don't know my own son.
The remarks go on and on. I just tuned her out. I gave up, to a certain extent, trying to win her approval. I'm stressed and anxious around her because I fear her judgment, but I'm done trying to please her for the sake of getting her approval. As soon as I'm healthy enough, Fred and I are getting our own place. And soon, when Baby is old enough, he will be in preschool and I will only see that bitch on my terms.
There was a recent comment that astounded me, though. After two weeks of tuning her out, I noticed that she was being so nice. She was making me food, making sure I was hydrated...just being so nice. And one Wednesday after therapy, she must've asked me ten times how I was doing. So finally I told her a little about IFS and my different "parts". I told her the story about the time my mother hit me so hard my nose bled, and how I ran into her arms. This is the epitome of a Borderline mother-daughter relationship, and is so twisted with the combination of evident physical and emotional abuse. I never told her that my mom physically harmed me. And you know what her immediate response to that story was?? "Oh, we need to watch and make sure you don't do the same to Baby".
Oh. My. God. Why would ANYONE think that would be the appropriate response to ANYONE admitting to physical abuse? And she KNOWS I have BPD, and she would dare insinuate something that would suggest I am a bad mother, that I would hurt my son? FYI, I do not have an anger problem. That is one BPD symptom I do not have at all. I have never hurt my son. And his needs are number one to me. I don't even want him to sense my depression, so I always make sure I am "running on all cylinders" when I'm around him. She has absolutely no compassion for me, and it drives me crazy. I was strong enough to calmly respond, "Well, I don't have an anger problem, so I'm not worried about that."
Since she just wants to assume that I'm inherently bad, her response is, "Well, you can control it."
I respond, "Well, that's what not having an anger problem means". Dumbass.
I don't get how someone can respond that way. And this would be one of the things I give up on while I'm doing my self healing, but I CAN'T because I have to deal with this woman every single day. She gets to raise my beautiful, perfect baby boy. I love him so much. He is the cutest, sweetest, smartest little boy ever.

Today I was sleeping (having a little depression from losing my job), and on his own, he came to find me, shut the door, and when I opened my eyes I saw two striking blue eyes looking at me over the edge of the bed oh-so lovingly. He said, "Mom!" and turned his chin up to blow me kisses. And in that instant, I said to myself that this is what I live for.

To conclude this, I will quote the Dalai Lama:
"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher."

"It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them."

Beth is officially my teacher. I will learn not to give a shit about what ignorant, compassionless people think about. I will not be mean back to her, and I will use her has a daily challenge that will help me become a stronger, less borderline person.

And I love my son. Isn't he adorable?  These are from a park adventure today...

Friday, April 22, 2011


So it's 2:43 A.M., and I'm sitting here blogging.

I'm better today. While on one hand that's a good thing, it's also concerning because I find it slightly insane that 24 hours ago I was a depressed mess, and now I'm hopeful and feeling slightly enlightened. I guess I'll take what I can get, and since in this moment I feel good, I'm going to enjoy it.

I want to get better. But I'm afraid. I don't know who I'll be. My insecurities, my mother's voice inside of me, have always been the drive that has made me succeed. What will I do without that?
There are two things I tell myself in response to this:
1. I am not my personality disorder. I am not identified as BPD. BPD is an experience that I have, albeit a very overwhelming, insane, and difficult experience. But I am not my disorder.
2. I need to take credit for my success. Although a lot of my perseverance and drive can be credited towards my need to be enough to my mother, I would not have been able to accomplish what I have if I  did not have the talent and abilities. Also, with my mother's voice out of my head, it's not like suddenly I won't want to do well in life. Quite the opposite, I'm sure. I will still be competitive, outgoing, and driven, it'll just be for the right reasons. And what's better, is not only will I still be all those things, I'll be an even stronger person. Win-win, right?

I've decided that I need to work on letting go of the past. I will still give my inner child time to heal and be nurtured, though, and I will still acknowledge my emotions when the come, and I will let them go. But I want my big focus to be on the present. I'm not healthy enough to think too far into the future...that creates too much anxiety right now. So, each day, I want to set goals. And every month, I want to have a focus for my improvement.

Every Day, I will:
-Meditate in the morning
-Do a Sun Salutation in the morning
-Drink my Shadyrest tea
-Put all my clothes away before I go to bed

For the month of April:
I will focus on Presence. I will release the past and its burden of broken dreams. Actually, I take that back...I'm not ready for that at all, and I don't want to set myself up for failure.
Okay, so for the month of April...I will remember that my experiences are neither good nor bad. My thoughts create my reality, and will remind myself daily to simply allow myself to experience the world without judgment. I will acknowledge my emotions, validate them myself, and let them pass. I will read this every day to reinforce my monthly intention:

In the realm of matter, one and the same object can serve as a cause of happiness for some living beings, and a cause of suffering for others. Certain plants, for example, function as medicine for some creatures, but for other species they can be poisonous. From the point of view of the object itself there is no difference, but because of the physical constitution and the material state of the particular living being, that single self-same object can affect them in different ways. Then, in the sphere of our own experiences, the same holds true. A certain individual may appear to some as very friendly, kind and gentle, and so gives them feelings of happiness and pleasure. Yet to others that same person can appear harmful and wicked, and so cause them discomfort and unhappiness.

What this kind of example points to is that, although external matter may act as a cause for our experience of pain and pleasure, the principal cause that determines whether we experience happiness or suffering lies within. This is the reason why, when Buddha identified the origin of suffering, he pointed within and not outside, because he knew that the principal causes of our suffering are our own negative emotions and the actions they drive us to do.---Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I feel light headed and cold. I feel separate from myself. i found myself rocking back and forth. i found myself  using my meditation cushion as a place to sit as drew blood from my thighs. i found myself in insanity, and i knew it, i know it, but i can't get out of it.

how many antidepressants does it take to commit suicide? but i can't leave. i can't leave my sweet boy. and i hate that. i want to go. i want to get away from me. i want more blood. i dont like crying. its so cold. and i dont want to be a burden. but i feel like my life is ruined. and im so young. i know i'm smart and beautiful. and i've wasted it all. i have nothing but Fred and my baby, two boys i dont deserve. i want to rip my heart out. i want to be texted back. i want to stop living this life. i just want my baby.

i feel like i could stop feeling this way. i could control this, hide it, pretend. but the facade is exhausting. but this despair scares me.

Slipping Under

Okay, so I'm having a really bad day. I've tried really, really, REALLY hard to do positive things, such as my last post on Buddhism, and then I went to Ashtanga Flow Yoga, and I ate Butter Chicken and Jasmine Rice from Trader's Joe's while watching last night's episode of Glee on my iMac. Yes, I said it. I watch Glee. Go fuck yourself. Wow, anger. Okay, that's good, I let myself be angry. I know I'm probably being judged by Glee-haters, but I'm letting that go. For this moment.
And then Glee ended. And now I'm alone, in my studio apartment. And all that's left to do, all I want to do, is go find someone, ANYONE, to distract myself with. I want to text all the guys I know to go hang out. Except Steven. Because around him, I can be myself. And right now, I don't want to be myself.

I am trying SO FUCKING HARD TO MOVE ON. I am trying so hard to do better, to leave the borderline in my past. I'm doing GREAT at my job, and it's even been giving me an opportunity to practice thinking in shades of gray. I'm new at this job, so I'm not perfect, and I've made mistakes. And it's good for me because I've been able to remind myself not to get caught up in this moment, and to let my anxiety pass and welcome the next experience, which has always been success.

Oh my goodness, I can feel my firefighter coming out. I want to go flirt, I want attention, I want distraction. I want to be someone else right now. And I can feel a retired firefighter surfacing. I can see her staring longingly at the blade on my counter, imagining how cool it will feel against her inner thighs. How tangible the pain will be. How structured and predictable the pain is. She doesn't want to die, and she doesn't want people to see her cuts...she just wants to refocus, and since the pain can't go away maybe she can reject it.

Dear God, Please make me a bird, so I can fly, fly far, far away from here...

Oh God. I'm slipping. I can feel the darkness coming, taking me over. I tried. I failed. And I'm alone.

Right thought, Right Action.

Along the lines of connections, another thing that I recently discovered is even more meaningful and significant to me than I had original thought is Buddhism. 
When I was sixteen I took a major religions course at my Catholic High School...ironic, huh? Once I understood Buddhism, it was the first time in my life that I was able to move forward. For the first time, I took a peek at myself and decided that I wanted to change, and I knew that change had to come from within. I knew I couldn't wait any longer for my mother to nurture me...I had to do it myself. I know that I could seek love and approval from others when I didn't even give it to myself. I knew that my mind could do whatever it wanted. I knew I needed to let go and live in the present moment. 
Obviously, five years later, as I am struggling with BPD more than ever (it normally doesn't hit hard until the onset of adulthood, between 18 and 22), I haven't fully embraced these things. For a long time I did, until I fell off the bandwagon, so to speak. But I stopped living the Buddha because I never actually faced all the darkness inside of me. Some people try to say just move on. But you have to face your demons, and with Borderline Personality Disorder, you HAVE TO validate your emotions and your experiences as real. But, I'm learning to acknowledge my emotions, name them, but not identify with them. For example, "I feel depressed right now" rather than "I am depressed right now". I am not my emotions. I'm also learning to experience them. My entire life I have not expressed rage. SEE, not all borderlines have inappropriate rage ;) But, the reason I NEVER allow myself to be angry is because my Borderline Mother was SO angry that it terrified me to become her. And I saw how much her anger hurt me, and I just couldn't do that to others. I wanted to be the change I wished to see in her. And so I experience them, and I tell myself that my emotions are not bad, because they are just emotions. They will pass, and they cannot control me. Well, sometimes they do...a lot of times they do. But hey, I'm thinking positive here!! Right thought, Right Action. The thing is, my mother always made me feel as if my emotions were bad. She would read my diary and yell at me for the things I wrote. She would scream at me and degrade me when I cried. And I never had a good example of how to deal with emotion. So accepting that my emotions and experiences are not bad is hard to do.
Can't you see what an awful cycle it is for a Borderline, though? To feel as if our emotions and experiences and thoughts are innately bad only makes me feel like I'm a bad person, but then by feeling like a bad person, I'm only having more emotions and thoughts! So then I hate myself even more, and the cycle goes on and on, spiraling downward...
Back to Buddhism though. While researching BPD a month or so ago, looking for some form of treatment that would help me, I came across Marsha Linehan's DBT, which is largely derived from Buddhism! Then I found a book called The Buddha and the Borderline (Kiera Van Gelder). I bought it for my iPhone immediately, and started highlighting away. It was the first time in my life that I felt like I was reading my own experience, the first time I felt like someone else had been floating in the world of insanity like I had. And in the book I came across a quote that resounded inside of me: "All we are is the result of all that we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become". So wouldn't it make sense that, after hearing my mother tell me I'm worthless, disgusting, bad ect. for twenty years, that those thoughts would just become habitual? It's automatic for me to allow her voice to speak over my "true self", because that's all I know. But if I know otherwise now, and if I just keep thinking the right thoughts, then eventually will I become right action? Can I, overtime, replace the old way of thinking with the new? I feel like the mind is so powerful and can do anything. What if I just retrain myself?
You know, it makes me proud of my "true self", wherever she is. She's in there somewhere. And all this time, all these years, she's been trying to heal herself, trying to separate from the Borderline. She fell in love with Breakfast at Tiffany's, only to find out ten years later that Holly Golightly has BPD. She loves the song Blackbird, and, well, you read my last post. And she felt like Buddhism allowed her to be the free bird she wanted to be, and perhaps she's right, if Buddhism is essential the leading treatment for BPD. I'm proud of my "true self" for rising above, for always trying to keep separate from the Borderline even when the emotions felt like they were taking over. And that is one of the best things I can do for myself...separate myself from the Borderline inside me, from the hate, from my mother's voice. I am not my disorder. And my "true self" knows this, I just don't know her.

I had an INCREDIBLY shitty day today. And this is my therapy. Right Thought, Right Action. I'd say this is good progress. Let's see how long it lasts...