Monthly Archives: March 2013

Defending My Knowledge

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately.  Anytime someone asks me to explain a reference I said I understood, or to define a word they don’t believe I know the meaning to, I feel attacked and demeaned.  I feel like the person asking must think I’m stupid.  Why else would they ask me to explain how or what I know?

When I was younger, probably between the ages of 11 and 13, I watched a movie with my birth family.  It was that cute Tim Allen Christmas movie called “The Santa Clause”.  I’m not going to go over the synopsis of this movie.  If you aren’t familiar with it and really want to know, you can look it up.  Anyway, there is a scene on a roof shortly after Tim Allen becomes Santa.  He had been driving the sleigh, and stopped on a roof to deliver toys to the children in the house below.  When he reached into the sleigh to grab the bag of toys, it started to float, and soon Tim Allen was hovering a few feet off the roof, holding onto the bag of toys.  I don’t know why it was floating.  The magic of Santa, I guess.  Tim Allen’s son was with him on the roof.  He started yelling for his dad to come back, and expressing his general concern.  Tim Allen told him not to worry because he “had lived through the sixties.”

When that movie came out back in the mid-90’s, my birth family watched it over and over.  It really is a decent movie.  Family friendly without being overly sappy.  No cussing or violence, but still enjoyable to for an adult to watch.

We had probably seen the movie a time or two when what I am about to mention took place.  When the scene came on with Tim Allen on the roof, floating with the bag of toys, I laughed after the line where he says he lived through the sixties.  As soon as I laughed, my mother spun around and glared at me.  “Do you even know what that means?!?” she barked at me.  I didn’t understand why she would seem upset about this question.  And I DID know what the line meant.  I remember thinking that Tim Allen said it was ok that he was flying, implying he was used to it, because of the drugs he had done back in the day.  Instead of responding thusly, I instead told my mother that no, I did not understand.  She scoffed and turned around.

I cannot tell you how many times that memory floats around in my head.  It was really just last week that I realized why I become so defensive when asked to explain how I understand a reference, or to define a word it’s thought that I don’t know.  Every time I feel like I am being tested.  I feel like the person asking me is CONVINCED that there is no way I could know something, so they are trying to make me PROVE it.  I feel that it is a direct attack to my intelligence.

On another note, I also recently realized the reason I fully believe everyone thinks I am stupid and is questioning my intelligence is because that is how my birth family has always (and I mean ALWAYS) treated me.  But that is a post for another day.

Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Family, Mental Illness, Parenting, Relationships | Tags: | 5 Comments

It WILL Get Better

I have not been doing too terribly wonderful lately.  I’m sure that could be ascertained by my lack of posts recently.  I have been involved in a lot of stressful situations the past couple months.  I feel like I’m being attacked from all angles.  Add to that the difficulty I have had sleeping.  I keep waking up in a panic, scared and crying.  It takes a while for me to calm down, if I’m even really able to.  I have been talking in my sleep, too.  Things that disturb me quite a bit.  I must be having upsetting dreams, but I can’t remember ANYTHING about them.  I have also been dissociating to the point of wondering if there isn’t someone else taking over my body.  Jay has told me some things that I have done recently that I have NO MEMORY of.  It actually took me a while to believe him.  What he was saying was so far fetched to me, I thought he was trying to play a joke.  Not to mention all the conversations he tells me we have that I can’t remember to save my life.  Makes me think Mara is making a comeback.

I am seeing a new therapist on Monday.  She apparently works very well with people who have borderline personality disorder, and also with people who have been the victim of sexual abuse.  This therapist is at the same office as Jays “Friendly Federal Agent” therapist and was recommended by her, so I think she may be able to help me.

I do know that things will get better.  I have been slipping slowly downward, but at least this time I KNOW that it isn’t hopeless.  I KNOW that I don’t have to crash and burn.  I KNOW that I can stop the cycle and enjoy at least a period of improved mental health.  Things seem bad NOW, but NOW is not FOREVER.  I will come through this, and I will be the better for it.  It just sucks going through it right now.

Categories: Abuse, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Depressed, Dissociation, PTSD, Sexual Abuse, Therapy | 5 Comments

Awww, so sweet! This is a post from my eccentric husband.

Crazy Jay - The Consummate Chameleon! "A spark of genius quenched in misery." The Esoteric Eccentric

I heard this story a long time ago and, right after Meg and I married, I referenced it.  For several different reasons, I stopped.

I had a bit of clarity earlier and this story came to mind.  Actually, it has been banging around in my head for a while and now I know why.

Here is the story.  I heard it from a friend:

In some places in the world, daughters are PURCHASED by suitors and the transaction is barter.  We are talking primitive societies so basically it is like, “Let me marry your daughter and I will give you two sheep.”  The HIGHEST form of payment is COWS.  They are valuable.

So, there was this guy who had a daughter that people looked at and thought, “Eh… she’s alright.”  The father concluded that, maybe, he could get two goats for her.  Not that there was anything WRONG with her……

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Categories: Borderline Personality Disorder | Leave a comment

I Smell an Ambush

Crazy Jay told me this morning that he had arranged for his therapist (who is also a Federal Agent) to see us as a couple on Thursday evening.  The more I think about it, the more anxious I am about it.  This woman is Jay’s therapist.  I haven’t even MET her.  I just know that I’m going to go in, and it’s going to be an intervention.  Therapist Lady will say she’s learned from Jay that I’m addicted to bitchiness, and I need to cut it out or seek help.

Seriously, though, I do feel like I’m going to get ganged up on.  Two people to tell me how I’m failing at everything I try.  How I need to do better, despite the fact that I honestly feel like I’m doing the best I can at the moment.

I also feel like I’m going to have to PROVE myself to this woman.  I’m going to have to PROVE that I really have the issues that I KNOW I have.  I’m going to have to give her details about my diagnosis and my past abuse.  She’ll question me about self-harm, and then give me a nice long lecture.  I am going to have to explain why I think the way I do and why I act the way I do and why I say the things I do.

I know that this session is not about ME, and it really sounds like I’m making it about ME.  I know this is about US and how Jay and I can better communicate and have an awesome marriage even with all the baggage and crazy issues we bring to the table.  I’m just nervous.  And anxious.  And scared.

Not to mention that I have to go meet a new person!  I have to talk to her!  I have to seem engaging and smart and funny and nice.  I have to be able to speak in coherent sentences.  I have to go act for an hour.  I am going to have to pretend that I am not completely uncomfortable and freaking out as I sit in her leather chair, looking at her across the desk.  This is going to be an exhausting hour that I am not looking forward to.

Categories: Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Marriage, Mental Illness, Panic Attack, PTSD, Relationships, Self Harm, Stress | 5 Comments

Lack of Oxygen to the Brain = Lack of Assertiveness

I have been realizing more and more lately that I have a hard time expressing myself verbally, especially when caught off guard.  When I know something’s coming, I’m able to prepare.  If it just HAPPENS, however, then my mouth becomes a fly catcher and the other person just walks off without knowing how inappropriate I found their behavior and how upset I am about it.  Like the guy at work who thought he could put his arm around me.  And when a woman I work with thought she would invite me to another girl’s night out, even thought the first one was horrifying.  I wasn’t able to immediately respond in these situations because I was caught off guard.  I ended up responding to both situations via email.  I wish I could live in a world where I communicated solely by the written word.  Email, letters, text, memo, whatever.  I need time to properly phrase what I’m thinking.  I need time to make sure the proper words are chosen.  I need time to make sure I am getting across exactly what I am wanting to portray.  Usually, when I just try to SPEAK, and I don’t have time to plan out every word, I end up sticking my foot in my mouth.  I have grown accustomed to the rubbery taste of the sole of my boot mixed with the lovely West Virginia dirt.

I was reading a post today on the blog Behind the Mask of Abuse.  She mentioned that her therapist had told her that people who are abused tend to go into fight/flight/freeze mode when they are placed in an uncomfortable position.  She said that the part of the brain that would normally be able to stand up and say, “Hey!  Back off!  What you’re doing is NOT ok!” is devoid of oxygen, making it almost impossible to assert oneself in a scary or uncomfortable position.

Wow, I was SO GLAD to hear this!  I know that I am thought of as weak because I don’t speak up for myself.  Not when something first happens.  I need time to process what’s going on, and how I will respond.  When that guy put his arm around me, my head just went blank.  I couldn’t even think of what to say or how to respond.  I just had to go with the situation.  Same thing when I was invited to Girl’s Night House of Horrors II.  Even though I KNEW that I didn’t want to attend, I didn’t know what to say.  My mind went blank.

Crazy Jay (who is slightly less crazy these days) sometimes gets upset that I let people walk over me like in the aforementioned situations.  He thinks I should jump to my feet and scream “INJUSTICE!!!!” like he would.  He just can’t understand why I need time to process.

A lot of times I feel like I’m stupid and incompetent and immature because I don’t know how to respond in stressful situations.  Now I know that it is just my brain kicking into fight or flight or freeze mode.  I freeze.  I think people who are used to being treated badly WOULD just freeze when they felt they were being threatened or imposed upon.  If you are used to being sexually/physically/emotionally abused, it would just seem like another normal day to have someone invading your space or pressing you in some way.

The post I referenced can be found here.  It is definitely worth reading.

Categories: Abuse, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Stress | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Beaten with a Fly Swatter

I have read a few people’s blogs over the past week or so that mention child abuse.  Two acknowledged that what they experienced was physical abuse, but, if I recall, there was one who made light of the abuse done to themselves.  I wish I had saved the blogs because I’m a little fuzzy on the details.  I believe the person was saying something along the lines of what they experienced not being abuse because of the instrument of choice.  This person thought what they were beaten with wasn’t serious enough of a weapon, so they didn’t see it as abuse.

That got me thinking about my childhood, and the physical manner in which my siblings and I were punished.  I remember being chased with fly swatters (Don’t be fooled – those things HURT), yard sticks, and a red metal spoon, which was my mother’s favorite weapon.  She claims the spoon wasn’t metal, even though it left oval-shaped welts on my legs.  I suppose it couldn’t have been metal since she broke it when she was using it on my brother.  She went through a lot of yardsticks and other big kitchen spoons that way, too.

My mother would claim she was doing nothing wrong and justify her actions by telling us horror stories of how her father would use a thick leather belt and whip her and her siblings.  I say abuse is abuse, no matter what weapon you prefer.

I’m not against spanking children.  I think it can be very effective, if done correctly.  I don’t think it should be done with an instrument other than one’s hand, and I don’t think it should ever be done in anger.  When I was in high school, I was friends with a married couple who had three small boys at the time.  Whenever the boys needed to be disciplined, one of the parents would tell the boy to go to his room so the parent would have time to let go of any anger they felt.  When the parent was sufficiently calm, they would talk to the boy, explain why it was necessary to spank him, tell him they loved him, and then spank him twice on the bottom with their hand.

My mother may disagree with my memory of the physical discipline she administered, but I would have to point to the picture I drew in school in first grade as proof.  I drew a picture of one of my parents standing at the bottom of the stairs with their mouth open and angry words coming out (yelling).  The other parent was standing near me, holding what looked like a long thick stick.  It was actually supposed to be the paddle that my paternal grandfather gave my father on his wedding day.  I know, I know.  I come from great stock.  Anyway, I got in a LOT of trouble for drawing that picture, even though at the time I had no idea I had done anything wrong.  We had been asked to draw a picture of our family.  That is what I drew.  I would say there are significant problems if a six-year old child draws a picture of one parent yelling and the other parent coming after them with a paddle when asked to illustrate their family.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Children, Family, Parenting | 4 Comments

This is a post from Multifarious Miscellany. I have heard over and over that Christians who struggle with mental illness aren’t trusting God. And it is wrong to take psych meds for the same reason. That is bullshit! My God put people on the earth to help His struggling people. He gave doctors the knowledge and technology to help others. We also live in a fallen world, so of course Christians are going to have mental issues just the same as they are going to have physical issues. This is an awesome post, and I would recommend reading it if you are tired of being told that you don’t trust God enough because you have a mental illness. It’s also great to read if you are one of those judgmental people who would say something silly like that. Read and learn.

multifarious miscellany

I have two statements for you:

1. I am, for lack of better term, a Christian.
2. I have mental illnesses.

Those two statements are not mutually exclusive. Period.

For the purpose of making this easier, I’m going to use the term Christian, even though it tends to come along with its own misconceptions. I believe in God as a part of the Trinity, and I have my own unique relationship with Him. That is my answer to “What religion are you?”, but “Christian” is significantly shorter.

This is going to sound familiar to my Facebook friends, but I am tired of hearing that people with mental illnesses are Christian failures who don’t deserve God’s love. Some of these sentiments come from non-Christians sarcastically wondering how God can be considered so great if He lets bad things happen to good people. Sadly, more often than not, this condemnation comes from…

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Categories: Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depressed, Depression, God, Medication, Mental Illness, Relationships, Religion | Leave a comment

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