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.