Therapy

I Forgive You


D:

I forgive you for your constant criticisms and put downs of me.  I now know that you hated yourself, and were only able to see the negative aspects of others.  It somehow made your failings and short comings seem smaller.  I understand that making other people feel badly made you feel better.

I forgive you for focusing so much on my weight, even though you filled the house with junk food, sugar, and pizza.  I now know that you had your own issues with food.  You felt better about indulging when I did it with you, and it gave you a chance to unleash the guilt and shame you felt towards yourself onto another.  Somehow, if I overate with you, it made you feel not as bad.  By telling me I was too fat, you were able to safely express the feelings you felt towards yourself.

I forgive you for constantly trying to control and micromanage my life.  I now know that you felt your life had been spiraling out of control for a long, long time.  By clamping down on me, you were able to feel you had a handle on things without making any difficult changes in your life.

I forgive you for making me always feel inferior to everyone and everything.  I now know you struggled with feelings of self-worth, but weren’t strong enough to overcome them.  I understand how that can make a person feel like they’re drowning, and without hope.

I forgive you for making me believe that my thoughts and feelings didn’t matter.  I now know you felt that you didn’t matter, and you had no idea how to express it.  I understand you projected your feelings onto me.  I know how you had been stepped on by life.

I forgive you for making me feel unloved. I now know you had no experience of self-love.  I can also imagine how difficult it was to cope with the fact that your husband preferred your eldest daughter over yourself.  I understand you didn’t feel loved for most of your life, and you felt I had taken the only person who had any chance of really loving you. I forgive you for making it obvious that you favored my siblings over me.  I now know you felt that I received more “love” than I deserved.  I know how that hurt you.  I know you didn’t know what to do.

I forgive you for not protecting me when you should have.  I now know that you, yourself, were a victim of your choices and circumstances.  I understand you were too weak to shield me from the dangers of this world.

I forgive you for making me think all of the above was my fault.  I now know these problems were a direct result of the unresolved issues in your life.  In your soul.  This was always about you, and never about me.  I understand I was a child with no control, and you were the adult.

I forgive you, and I pity you.  I am strong.  I have overcome.  You are not.  You cannot.  You truly are a prisoner.  May you find peace one day.

“I guess we are who we are / Headlights shining in the dark night I drive on…”                                        ~Eminem ‘Headlights’

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Family, Healing, Parenting, Therapy, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Back from the Borderline


For at least the past four years, I’ve been considered to have borderline personality disorder.  I believe I was showing signs of it many years before, but it’s only been in the past four years that I’ve been diagnosed as such.  As recently as the beginning of August, I was on Wikipedia, comparing my symptoms to those listed in the DSM IV.  After reviewing the criteria for BPD those couple months ago, I reported back to Crazy Jay that I still exhibited about 95% of the symptoms.  I was actually pleased back in August to see that I would still be considered a raging borderline.  I was still crazy.  Whew.  What a relief.  At that time, I believed that if I clung to the borderline personality diagnosis hard enough, I wouldn’t have to do anything to change my behavior.  Don’t get me wrong:  I WANTED to change.  I felt miserable.  My life was chaotic.  I was depressed and contemplating suicide…again.  I had purchased new tools to self harm…again.  My problem was that I didn’t know HOW to change.  In fact, I was at a point where I really thought it was next to impossible for me to make any positive changes.  I tried pharmaceuticals.  I tried trusting God to change me.  I’d attended dialectical behavioral therapy and tried to study Marsha Linehan’s approach to helping those with BPD.   I tried drinking my troubles away.  I had numerous individual therapists.  I tried reading books on the subject.  Nothing really seemed to help me.  Oh, I may have gotten better for a couple days, but I wasn’t able to hold onto the “change” for very long at all.  That’s because it wasn’t a real change.  I was trying to force my mind to do and believe things that went against my very core.  Of course, what I believed in my core was wrong, but it still makes it difficult to change one’s behavior if old beliefs are held onto.

Jay and I started seeing a therapist together this past May.  Since we both had pretty much hit rock bottom personally, our marriage was showing signs of distress.  The therapist we saw was unlike any other we had sought help from in the past.  If you’ve been following Crazy Jay’s and my blogs, I have been calling her “Unconventional Therapist”, and Jay has been calling her “New Age Therapy Chick”, or NATC.  She focuses more on Eastern philosophies.  She introduced us to the Emotional Freedom Technique which involves tapping on pressure points of the body while repeating affirmations.  She uses oil remedies for emotional and physical issues.  She focuses on being in the moment instead of brooding about the past or pondering the future.  She also led me to the book that I feel completely changed my perspective on life in general, my attitude, and how I need be living.  “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay has taught me that loving myself can go a long way in helping me feel better.  Focusing on the negative will bring negative into my life.  Sending negative thoughts/comments/actions into the world towards others will bring negative into my life.  The best thing I can do for myself, and for everyone else is to love, respect, and forgive myself.  If I am able to do that for myself, it will be much easier to do that for other people.

I have been feeling tremendously wonderful this past month.  I can’t believe it’s only been a month.  I never thought I would feel a fraction of the joy and overall positivity I feel now.  Daily stresses don’t seem to bother me.  Jay and I have a much more peaceful, understanding relationship.  My anxiety has decreased to almost nothing.  My depression is gone.  I am treating myself better, both physically and emotionally.  I do still have issues to deal with, but I feel that I can now actually focus on that issue, and take care of it so that it does not pop up and bother me again.  Three months ago, however, I wouldn’t have really been able to start working on this issue.  It was too difficult stepping over the steaming piles of pain, anger and depression to focus on anything else.

Today I pulled up Wikipedia’s page on borderline personality disorder.  Any guesses as to how many criteria I met?  Let me start by saying that, at my worst, I knocked all nine outta the park.  I won’t go into any more detail about how things were at my worst, but start reading through my early blog posts if you want a clear picture.  Today, however, is a new day.  Today, I do not meet ONE criterion.  If I was examined by a shrink or some doctor today, I would NOT be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

I know that I have only been feeling exceptionally awesome for about a month, but I can tell this time is different.  This time I have changed my way of thinking and my thoughts.  This time when I am nice to Jay, it is not because I am clenching my teeth shut so I don’t spew venom.  This time I’m nice to Jay because all I hold in my head are soft, loving thoughts about him.  I don’t allow myself to think negative thoughts.  Not about myself.  Not about Jay.  Not about my co-workers, or traffic, or the slower cashier at the grocery store.  Not even about my birth family.  I am in the process of forgiving all from my past that I feel have wronged me, and I feel free.  I am happy.  I am content.  I’ve found a way of thinking that works for me.

In the past, my BPD would come in cycles, as I’m sure is the case for most.  I would have a looooong string of bad days, with a couple good thrown in.  The rare good days could last from one day to maybe four or five, if I was “lucky”.  Even on those “good” days, I would struggle with my thoughts.  I was ALWAYS at war with my thoughts.  A “good” day meant I didn’t punch a hole in the wall.  I would just go to my car and punch on it so I didn’t leave marks (well, not on the car, that is).  A “good” day meant I was only mean and snarky for a small portion of the day instead of the entire thing.  A “good” day meant I only picked the scabs off of my arms and legs instead of creating new cuts.  Even my “good” days were bad days.

I don’t expect my life to be perfect now.  Of course things will come up.  Things HAVE been coming up.  It’s important to keep in mind that things will ALWAYS come up.  That is the way of life.  What matters is not what happens, but how you deal with it.  What matters is not what others say or do to you.  What matters is how you choose to react and what you choose to believe about yourself.  I choose to love myself, tell myself I’m wonderful, and have an amazing day.

Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Daily Life, Healing, Mental Illness, Therapy, Thoughts | Tags: | 12 Comments

I Affirm You Will Read This


I woke up this morning and made sure I had a good attitude.  I affirmed that it would be a good day, and that I was excited about the upcoming possibilities.  Sounds hokey, but it made me feel pretty good.  Every time I’ve thought through that affirmation, I smile.  I was grinning from ear to ear on the way to work.  I’m sure I looked like a fool.  I know I didn’t care.

I really am amazed at how well these silly sounding affirmations work.  Yesterday evening had the potential to be disastrous.  Instead of thinking, “Oh no!  This is going to be a crappy, stressful night.  I think I’ll stay late at work to avoid it.”, I ran through positive affirmations.  All afternoon and all the way home from work, I was repeating to myself “All is well.  Everything is working out for my highest good.  Only good can come from this situation.  I am safe.”  After a few minutes, I wasn’t anxious about the upcoming evening.  This affirmation can be used for anything, but seems to be good when one is worrying or anxious.  Now, I don’t know if I yet believe that we create our experiences based on our thoughts, but I know that I FELT tremendously better than I would have if I was worrying and anxious all afternoon.

I think the whole idea is that how we THINK is really what shapes an experience.  If we are constantly thinking negative thoughts, we will have a lot of negative experiences.  If I went home last night with the thought in my head that it was going to be a difficult evening, I probably would have walked through the door on edge.  If I had been edgy, that would have made the entire situation precarious, and, most likely, explosive.  I went home thinking that everything was going to work out for my good (which is a Biblical principle, so not a huge stretch for me), and I had a very nice evening.  This morning I started the day stating that I was excited for what could possibly happen, and that I would have a good day today.  I know it’s not quite one o-clock, but so far a great day!  I’m not feeling stressed, and the silly office bullshit I have to deal with isn’t bothering me in the slightest.

I know I’m not changing events with the power of my mind, but I am continuously surprised by how running positive thoughts through my head all day keeps me out of the low, angry moods I’m prone to.  Bad things are going to continue to happen, but I don’t have to let them affect me like I have in the past.  After all, it’s not what happens – it’s how we react to it.

This may all seem like a stretch, and I thought it was completely ridiculous when I started reading “You Can Heal Your Life”.  However, constantly repeating to myself that I love and approve of myself started to turn my mood the very same day.  I have a desire to feel stupid and silly while talking about all this positive affirmation stuff, but I can’t deny that it works.  Read some of my many negative, angry, struggling past blog posts if you doubt me.

“I choose to feel good about myself.  It does not matter what other people say.  What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.” – affirmation from “21 Days to Master Affirmations” by Louise Hay

Categories: Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Daily Life, Depression, Healing, Health, PTSD, Therapy, Thoughts | 2 Comments

Retraining My Mind


You know how some people will ask how you’re doing, and when you start to tell them honestly, they respond in irritation with, “Everyone’s got problems!”  Whatever the context, I’m quite sure all of us have heard this from time to time.  Either directed at ourselves, or someone else who can’t seem to keep it together.

I was pondering this the other day.  Yes, everyone has problems, but why do they seem so HUGE for some, myself, at times, included?  As I type this, I realize the answer is obvious, but it seemed novel to me at the time.  Yes, everyone has problems, but not everyone is equipped to deal with their problems.  Not everyone has the tools to solve their problems and keep them from returning.

Up until recently, I thought it was impossible for ME to learn to use these tools on a regular basis.  I knew that the way I was raised caused me to wrongly react to things, but I also thought that I could sit back and blame the way I was raised.  I was not taught how to deal with many situations.  I was not taught how to act in interpersonal relationships.  I was taught to be critical and negative so as not to become disappointed.  That doesn’t mean I can’t change any of that, though.  Yes, I had a screwed up childhood.  No, I do not have to have a screwed up life.

When I started reading “You Can Heal Your Life”, I was depressed and angry.  I was considering starting to self harm again.  I thought there was no way out, and nothing I could do to change anything.  I had tried desperately to change what I said and how I acted.  All I managed to do was frustrate, become angry at, and blame myself for not being what I thought I “should” be.

As I began reading, though, my outlook started to change.  I realized I had the ability to change what was going on with me.  The author says that one has to change how they think about themselves before they can expect their lives to change.  I thought it was a lot of touchy-feely-sit-around-a-camp-fire-naked-and-cry-while-singing-koom-by-ya kinda thing.  It seems silly that just being nice to yourself and liking yourself is going to change anything.  It seems IMPOSSIBLE to me, as a borderline, to even begin to show self-love.  The entire concept seemed foreign.

It starts off with baby steps, though.  Not being critical of yourself, not having negative views about yourself, only telling yourself nice things, repeating affirmations, etc.  If one goes through life thinking they are shit and don’t deserve happiness, they will never obtain happiness.  If one thinks that everyone is out to get them, that is what they will see in their life.  What you view about yourself will manifest in your life.  I KNOW this seems crazy, but it really seems to work!

Think about it, though.  If you believe, deep down, that you will never be happy, how will you be able to LET yourself be happy?  Letting yourself be happy would go against everything you truly believe!  If you believe everyone is out to get you, that is all that you will see in each interaction with people.

Conversely, if you tell yourself you deserve to be happy, it will come.  If you tell yourself that you love yourself, you will not see a need to be overly critical.  If you forgive other people for their faults, you’ll be more able to forgive yourself the faults you possess.

I have been repeating affirmations to myself over the past week.  “I completely love and accept myself.”  “I deserve to be _____, and I accept it now.”  “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy.  I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”  I think you get the point.  I have seen a difference in how I treat myself since I’ve started doing this.  I have been showering on a daily basis, and using smelly bath stuff.  I have been using lotions.  I have been exercising some.  I have been eating better.  I have been sleeping better.  It’s like I finally convinced myself that I am WORTHY of being treated well, and I am doing that for myself.  The above things have been difficult for me in the past because I never thought I was worthy of anything other than pain and misery, and that’s how I treated myself.

I have also been treating other people better.  I do not get as frustrated with my coworkers, and I have not been lashing out at Crazy Jay.  I do not look for the negative in everything and find ways to tell others that they’re wrong.  I am not as critical, and am more willing to over look things others do that bother me.

Here’s something else COMPLETELY CRAZY:  Crappy things have happened this past week, but I am not really bothered by them.  Jay and I have had a tiff or two, but it was quickly nipped in the bud, and I didn’t brood about it all day.  I am not as stressed out at work, even though there is a HUGE invoicing mess that I’ve been dealing with.  Everything seems to roll off my back much easier than it ever has in my life.  Maybe this is what my unconventional therapist meant when she told me to “be an observer”.  It’s like the bullshit that other people throw my way doesn’t even touch me.

I guess maybe I should have started with this next part.  Then maybe people would have read all the way through.  I am not struggling and straining to “get through” each problem that comes my way.  I do not have to bite my tongue or deeply consider what I say.  Because I have changed my outlook on things, and the way I view myself, it’s not hard to be nice, because I FEEL nice.  It’s not hard to contain my frustration, because I don’t FEEL it anywhere near the same level I used to.  It’s not hard to “act” happy, because I AM happy.  I am not trying to twist my mind into doing something that it doesn’t want to do.  I am in the process of retraining my mind so that it wants to do what I want it to do, and not just react to things that trigger childhood memories.  I changed my fundamental beliefs about myself and my life, and I have seen an almost immediate change.  It helps that Jay is going through the same book as me, and is seeing things the same way.  Even if he wasn’t, though, I think I would be ok.  I think I am going to get through all this.  In fact, I can see it as I look over my shoulder, getting smaller in the distance.  I AM going to have a full, happy life.  I AM worthy, and deserve good things.  I AM lovable and capable of showing love.  I AM willing to release the negative patterns in my mind.  Holy shit…I think I can do this thing, after all.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, Child Abuse, Daily Life, Depression, Healing, PTSD, Stress, Therapy | 1 Comment

Making Myself Sick


I was watching the horror movie, “Shadow People”, the other day.  It’s a really good, creepy movie.  I’d recommend it!  It is about these shadows that come to your room as you’re drifting off to sleep.  You open your eyes and see the shadows moving, and coming towards you.  You experience paralysis, being able to move only your eyes, and then you die.  As the movie progressed, it was revealed that the people who die at the hands of the “Shadow People” BELIEVE in the “Shadow People”.  Doubters don’t die.  Just the people who believe this “monster” is real.  The number of deaths by the “Shadow People” increased as more people heard and believed these stories.  The movie ended with evidence of the “Shadow People” being suppressed and lied about so as not to create more believers, and more deaths.

There was a woman on the movie (that’s supposedly based on a true story) who drew a parallel between dying at the hands of the “Shadow People”, and taking a placebo.  Your body thinks it is getting medicine, when in fact it has only received a placebo.  Because your mind and body THINK it has medicine to be healed with, the body begins to heal itself.  The people in this movie believed that there were “Shadow People” who would kill them in their sleep, and their minds made it happen.

Now, this is obviously a little far-fetched, but it got me thinking about mental illness.  It made me wonder if we could make ourselves sicker by buying into all the Wikipedia pages about our illness(es), and listening to the negative things people say about us.

I know that when I was reading ALL the blogs on WordPress about borderline personality disorder, I was more focused on the negative aspects of myself and my disorder then when I decided I would only peruse the POSITIVE mental health blogs.  Listening to people talk about what they were going through can be helpful, but it can also be damaging, I think.  While it does help and encourage me to know that I’m not alone in my craziness, and other people know what I’m going through, I also tend to focus so heavily on the negative things they’ve experienced and are feeling.  It’s almost like their emotions and their memories become my own.  I start thinking about the issues other people are having, and think about how it relates to me.  I see that these people have BPD, and I do, too, so I seem to make a leap in my mind.  I cannot just listen and observe what another person is going through – All of a sudden it is ME going through those things.  Focusing on their negativity makes me focus on mine.  I forget to do the things that make me feel good, because all I can think about are bad things.  I take on the bad feelings I’ve read about, and make them my own.

Reading about borderline personality disorder just reinforces all the crap I’m feeling and thinking about myself.  It makes me forget that I am working to get better.  It seems to make me worse.  Crazy Jay has told me for a long time that I am the best student he’s ever seen.  When I thought that I was a psychopath, I read a lot about serial killers and sociopaths/psychopaths.  I started taking on the traits I was reading about.  I convinced myself that I didn’t care about things.  I convinced myself that I didn’t feel.  I convinced myself that I hated the world, and wanted to try my hand at taking out a few people.  Just for the hell of it.

Apparently the same thing happened when I realized I have BPD.  I read about it all the time, and started acting more and more like a crazy chick having a borderline episode (after episode, after episode, after episode).  I noticed that when I started reading more about dermatillomania, the same thing happened again.  I started picking at my scalp more and more.  It’s like knowing about it fed my need to pick at my scabs, just like learning more about BPD turned me into a textbook borderline.

It has taken me a long time to figure this out, but I really think my focus needs to be on HEALING, and not on my symptoms.  I need to worry about filling my day with positive moments.  I need to continue to practice controlling my tone and the nasty things I say.  I need to address the hurt inner child that has never been properly nurtured.  I need to focus on my relationship with my husband.  I do NOT need to read book after book on what it looks like to have borderline personality disorder.  I do NOT need to read blogs that are full of negativity and nothing but complaints about life.  I do NOT need to watch movies that will make me think too deeply on my past.  I do NOT need to visit the Wikipedia page on BPD every other week to check and see if my symptoms are still in line with what they “should” be.

The more I tell myself that it is “normal” for a person with BPD to act the way that I do, the more I’m giving myself permission to act in that way.  If I hear that I can’t get better until later on in life, that the symptoms of borderline personality disorder tend to diminish after the age of 40, then I’m giving myself free reign to only half-ass getting better, at least until I’m closer to 40.  If I keep thinking that I “can’t” do this or that, then that is how I am going to act.  If I have myself convinced that I can’t be pleasant because the BPD has my mind weighed down with anger, sadness, and irritation, then I am not even going to attempt to be kind or gentle.  I need to start focusing on the change I want instead of the bad behaviors I “can’t” get rid of.  I need to stop making myself sick, and start focusing on healing.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depression, Dermatillomania, Mental Illness, Therapy | Tags: | 4 Comments

Emotional Clearing in the Bathroom


I think I’m going to have to research and start using the Emotional Freedom Technique, also called “Emotional Clearing”.  I only understand it on a very basic level, but I believe it is using acupressure as a means of calming oneself.  You are supposed to tap on various pressure points (middle of chest, “third eye” on forehead, under mouth, somewhere in the side area, etc) while saying something calming to yourself.  The name also leads me to believe that by doing this, it will enable me to clear out the negative emotions that I have built up due to all the crap in my past.

There are numerous employees leaving the construction project that I work with.  A few left today.  The rest will be trickling out throughout the weekend.  As I was sitting at my desk, one of them came up to me and put his arm around me, and leaned down real close in my face.  He told me he enjoyed working with me and thanked me for all I’ve done.  I, of course, froze.  I was able to stutter out that it was nice working with him.  Then I struggled to hold back tears as he walked away.

Before I was in full crying mode, I SPRINTED to the bathroom and started tapping on my chest like my new age therapist recommended last night.  Crazy Jay has been doing this tapping thing for a while.  He says it helps.  I feel silly doing it, and haven’t really tried.  Not when I needed it, anyway.  As I was tapping on my chest, I said things to remind myself that I was not in a threatening situation, and that I had not just been violated.  My personal space may have been violated, but most people don’t view hugs as an ASSAULT, like I do.

Anywho, after tapping for a few minutes and repeating phrases to myself, I was able to get control of my breath so I no longer felt like I would hyperventilate.  The tears dried up, and I stopped shaking.  It seems that this tapping/Emotional Clearing stuff may just work.  I am going to do some research on it today, and I will talk to my wacky new age therapist about it.  It would be nice to actually find something that helps take away my negative emotions and calm my anxiety.

I thought the title was funny, by the way.  It was just to be called “Emotional Clearing”.  I thought it would be HIGHlarious to add “in the bathroom”.  Afterall, that’s where I was!!  LOL

Categories: Abuse, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, EFT, Mental Illness, Panic Attack, Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Therapy | 6 Comments

The Monkey


I don’t like going home anymore.  I would much prefer to be at work.  I left for work this morning around 6:30, and I’ve been staying late just to avoid being at home.  To avoid being around Crazy Jay’s house guest.  If anyone’s read his blog, you know that he says there’s a “monkey” that takes control and makes him crazy.  Makes his mind race.  Makes him sad.  Makes him mad.  Basically all around fucks with him.  Jay is gone.  The monkey has been living in my house for the past couple weeks, and I hate it.  I hate that fucking monkey.

Yesterday, I went to see Jay’s and my joint therapist.  I’m actually glad that we’re both going to go see her.  We’ve seen her separately, and we’ve seen her together.  Since Jay is her patient, too, I don’t have to worry about spending half the session defending the fact that I’m still with him.  I don’t have to worry about thinly veiled attempts to tell me I would be happier without him.  I mean, I know things are especially bad NOW, but, like the Buckcherry song goes, “it’s not like we don’t ever get along.”  I know it’s bad now, but I know it will get better…and then worse, and then better, and then worse.  LOL  It doesn’t matter, though, because I’m in it for the long haul.

Back to the therapist.  I went to see her to try and get some insight as to how I should behave when the monkey comes to stay.  The monkey does not allow me to show emotion that might make it feel badly.  I cannot be upset, sad, hurt, irritated…basically anything other than happy and agreeing.  I have to watch every little thing I say.  The monkey has an extensive past filled with many many hurts.  The wrong word will bring up those old feelings.  As I’m watching what I say, though, I have to make sure not to appear withdrawn.  The monkey doesn’t like that either.  I must be properly responsive, but in a kind, gentle way, and never disagree, no matter what it’s about.  Even if I am correcting straight up facts, that is unacceptable to the monkey.  It makes the monkey feel like I’m disrupting his “happy” mood, and trying to insert a hard dose of reality.

When the monkey becomes angry if any of the above happens (or whatever sets him off that time), it feels it’s acceptable to lash out at me.  Screaming at me about what I’ve done.  Telling me over and over that I need to be different.  Bringing up all past hurts and telling me that they are current.  Telling me that I need to change this thing.  And this thing.  And this thing.  Telling me I deserve the verbal assault because of whatever I did that triggered something.  The monkey tries to make me responsible for its mood, its feelings, and its behavior.  The monkey believes that everything is my fault, and that I am ruining Jay’s and my marriage.  The monkey will tell me not to speak to Jay (or shut my “dumb fucking mouth”) until I can stop offending it.  The monkey tells me Jay’s and my marriage is over until I stop doing x, y, and z.  The monkey goes on for hours and hours.  Berating me.  Calling me names.  Telling me that everything I’m doing is purposeful to try to control and manipulate Jay.  The monkey follows me from room to room, never giving me any peace.  If I don’t respond, it infuriates the monkey.  It comes at me harder, trying to lure me into battle in the pit.  If I apologize for what I did (or didn’t do), the monkey tells me that I think I can act in whatever hurtful way I want and then apologize.  The whole “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” kinda thing.  If I lash back at the monkey, it becomes hurt and rubs in my face the nasty thing I said.  Over and over.  And over.  And over.  Basically, when the monkey is visiting, I cannot do anything right, no matter how I try.

The therapist told me that I need to be “an observer”.  That I need to achieve some kind of balance in all of this.  Of course, I know that I cannot change the monkey, nor can I kick him out of my house.  I need to be there, listening, but not being affected.  I need to know that I am not responsible for making the monkey happy.  I do not need to feel guilt for the monkey’s bad feelings.  It is not up to me to keep the monkey placated.  After the monkey gets its first rant out, it was suggested that I ask the monkey what would make it feel better, and then decide if I can do that.  I was told to stay more “in my soul”, rather than in “my human body”.  This chick is kinda New Ageish.  I took it as staying in the spirit vs being in the flesh (it’s a God thing).  She also suggested we print off a picture of our dog to remind us that we need to take him into account, too.  All the screaming, banging, and knocking things over that the monkey does are very upsetting to our sensitive dog.  I already knew this.  When she brought the dog into the equation, I started crying.  I feel horrible about what I go through with the monkey, but even worse about what our dog goes through.  He doesn’t understand what’s happening.  He’s just a dog.

When I got home last night, I tried to respond to things that Jay said, but not really say too much.  The monkey came out the other day when I told Jay I was “glad he had fun with his new friend.”  The monkey said I was being demeaning.  I never know what I may say that will cause the monkey to rear up and take over.  Things were a little tense, but peaceful.  Jay sensed that I wasn’t being completely open, but the monkey has made it impossible.  All of a sudden, things changed.

Jay asked me to pause the TV so he could speak.  The monkey thought he saw me roll my eyes, and said something.  Now, I do not think that I did roll my eyes.  Rolling my eyes is something I haven’t really done since I was in high school.  If it happened, it was not conscious.  I started to tell the monkey that I didn’t think I did that, and if I did it wasn’t on purpose.  Instead, I swallowed all that down and apologized.  The monkey accepted.  It didn’t leave, though.  It was quiet, but it was waiting.

The next time the TV was paused, the monkey accused me of sighing or huffing.  I’m sure I did make a noise.  It probably had something to do with the way I was laying, and then a sigh came out as I shifted to grab the remote.  Either way, I didn’t even realize I had expelled breath.  The monkey was very angry at this point.  I apologized.  I apologized again.  The monkey was on a rampage.  I don’t think it could even hear what I said.  When the monkey stopped to take a breath, I asked it what would make it go away.  What kind of banana do I need to give it so it would go off in the corner and leave me alone?  The monkey then started telling me what I need to change, and how if I did, it would go away.  I was more clear with the next question:  “Monkey, what do you need RIGHT NOW to make your anger go away?”  It told me I asked a good question and agreed to think about it.

I thought the monkey left.  It was quiet for several minutes.  I thought Jay was back.  I was wrong.  The monkey came back, yelling and telling me how I ALWAYS do this and this and this and this and this.  This went on for quite a while.  I asked it several times what I could do to make the anger dissipate.  I asked it what would make it happy, RIGHT NOW.  I asked it why, when it seemed that we would resolve one thing in the fight that evening that it would bring up another issue.  I asked why the monkey wanted to keep fighting with me.  I soon realized that the monkey was comfortably settled into Jay’s body, though, and was unwilling to leave.  As the monkey continued yelling at me, I slipped deeper and deeper into myself.  The monkey’s voice became a loud drone until it was tired and fell asleep on the couch.

The monkey was back this morning.  It showed up when I told Jay I did not want to snuggle in bed.  That I was hurt from the fight last night.  That I was hurt from the fight the night before.  I am always being yelled at and having hurtful comments hurled at me by the monkey.  When Jay comes back, he hardly remembers saying anything, and doesn’t see a need to apologize.  As a result, I’m left with anger, hurt feelings, and absolutely no resolution.  The monkey chased me out of the house this morning at 6:30.  He didn’t chase me out physically, but its words sent me running.  I was in a very bad spot this morning because of it.  When I left the house, I went to a nearby grocery store and perused the aisles looking for a glass bottle I could break up and use to express my emotions.  The monkey has let me know that I am not allowed to feel upset or hurt.  At work I can’t sit and cry all day, like I’d like to.  It seemed like the only way to express myself was to further mar my skin while thinking about all the things the monkey has been telling me.

I couldn’t find an empty bottle, though, and I wasn’t in a position to wash out a jar that had food in it.  I did not cut this morning.  I haven’t in a while, and didn’t want to start again.  I feel like the monkey gives me no alternative.  I do not know how to function with the monkey being a constant presence in my life.  I hate the monkey.  He makes me miserable.

Jay is trying to eradicate the monkey, but, in the process, it seems he’s unleashed it all the more.  He has increased the power of the monkey.  I know that it will take Jay time to work through things and finally kill the monkey.  I am willing to stay with Jay and love him until the monkey is gone.  I even try to love the monkey, but it is incredibly difficult.  I despise that motherfucker.  It makes my life hell, and then laughs about it.  It mocks my pain and tells me I deserve it.  This is not a threat to take my life, but I sometimes wonder how I will get through each day with the monkey.  It’s starting to seem hopeless.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Marriage, Relationships, Self Harm, Self-Injury, Therapy | 4 Comments

Maybe Yoga Will Be Next


Last night Crazy Jay and I had another session with our “new age chick” therapist.  I learned that the Emotional Freedom Technique, which I still do not know a TON about, is not just for anger.  Jay has been using it for anger this past week.  I learned last night it can be used for any distressful or unwanted emotion.  I’m looking forward to trying it throughout this week.  It seems like this form of acupressure can be very helpful.  Our therapist explained that, the more you do it, the more layers of negative emotions you will pull away, exposing what is underneath.  It may be painful, but it is necessary to confront all the negative emotions and past experiences in order to help get past it.  That’s what I ultimately want:  I want to be able to get past all the shit from my life that’s been dragging me down.  And I KNOW that what she says about this has merit.  I just remember how much better I felt when I ejected all the negative people from my life.  I immediately felt uplifted and like a weight had been removed from my shoulders.  When you remove the negative emotions, experiences, and people from your life, you make room for the positive emotions, experiences, and people that will help you to live a full and satisfying life.

I also learned that I apologize way too much.  Our therapist said that this week I need to focus on only apologizing for the things I am actually at fault for.  She said that my constant apologies when I don’t believe them are incongruent to my “soul”.  She said that constant apologizing when one is not at fault is one of the many things that can lead a person into depression.  I know that I FEEL less than.  I FEEL like I am wrong.  I FEEL like I need to apologize all the time…So I do.  Jay shared last night that my constant apologizing makes him feel badly, which I was not aware of.

My assignment for this week has started off a little rocky.  So far I’ve found myself apologizing about 20 gazillion times since last night.  As soon as I catch myself apologizing (And, so far, for nothing that’s my fault!), I laugh at my silliness.  I may not be able to stop myself yet, but at least I’m able to notice when I’m apologizing unnecessarily.  It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I was given this assignment, so I’m confident I’ll get there.

This weekend we are going to try aromatherapy.  I think I am going to choose a citrusy scent and the good ole stand by:  lavender.  I hear that lemon or orange are good for depression, and seem to instantly make you perk up a little bit.  Lavender is good for sleeping and relaxation, and I need a way to work on both.

I was raised in an atmosphere that looked down on Eastern practices.  I was taught to be skeptical and dismissive of them.  I struggle a little with thinking what I’m doing can’t possibly work.  Reality seems to be quieting that voice, though.  The few things Jay and I have tried seem to work.  I am able to reconcile the practices with my personal spiritual beliefs, so I’m trying hard to remember that what I was taught is not necessarily the correct thing.  Here’s a heart attack inducing statement for a few reading this…Maybe next I’ll try my hand at meditating with quiet drums in the background or yoga.  LMCAO

Categories: Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Daily Life, Depression, Marriage, Mental Illness, Therapy | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Any Child in My Shoes


I mentioned in my last post that Jay and I have been seeing a therapist together.  I also mentioned that she is a little new agey-ish.  Jay says that she focuses on Eastern philosophy, and that is probably a better, more accurate way of explaining her style.  We are going back to see her again tonight.  When we were talking with her last week, though, she mentioned something that I’ve been ruminating on since.  She said that my mother would have treated any child in my place the same way she treated me.  That it is not ME, personally, that my mother had a problem with.  Any middle child under her care would have received the same treatment.  The problem is with my mother…NOT with me.

At first I didn’t believe my therapist.  I completely balked at the idea that it was not MY fault that I was treated badly as a child.  My entire life I have felt like the problem (ALL problems) are inherently my fault.  The “new age chick”, as Crazy Jay calls her, gave me an example.  Her father is an alcoholic.  She told me that her father is not an alcoholic because SHE was a bad child, or because there was something wrong with HER.  Her father is an alcoholic because there is something wrong with HIM.  I am so glad she gave that example.  When things are stated to me in an impersonal manner, I have an easier time believing and understanding them than if something is applied to me personally.

I am trying to keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with ME.  I am trying to remember that the reason I act and feel the way I do is because of the things imposed on me from birth through the very recent past by my birth family.  I am trying to get past everything, and “unpack my backpack” as the “new age chick” said at our first session.  I’m carrying a lot of crap in my backpack.  I’ve probably got about five or six backpacks I’m trying to juggle.  Hopefully as Jay and I continue to talk to her, and put some of her ideas into practice, things will continue to get better.  Both with just me individually, and with Jay and I as a couple.

She has already recommended a few things that seem to be working.  Jay is trying his hand at the Emotional Freedom Technique which is all about tapping your pressure points when feeling stressed.  We are also trying to do some of the massaging with oils she recommended.  It has helped me SO MUCH in feeling more relaxed.  This weekend we will be picking out some essential oils to use for aromatherapy.  I am very excited about this woman’s methods.  Medication hasn’t seemed to help either Jay or myself.  Talking helped me moderately, but didn’t seem to really help Jay at all.  We aren’t doing anything that is going to compromise our religious/spiritual beliefs, but there is so much of Eastern philosophy that can be beneficial.  I am eager to learn more.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Marriage, Stress, Therapy | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Negativity = Unhappiness


I was sitting in my car on my lunch break, wondering why I am so negative all the time.  Why am I so inclined to notice, focus on, and mention other’s faults and flaws?  The obvious reason is that’s what my upbringing taught me.  That’s what I’ve learned.  My mother had no qualms mentioning to me that I needed to desperately pluck my eyebrows.  She would regularly mention to my brother, in front of family members and strangers alike, that he needed to do a better job washing his face.  She was constantly telling my siblings and I what was “wrong” with us and how we needed to improve.  She shined a mega-watt spotlight on all “imperfections”.  No “defect” was excluded.  I was chided for my hair, my clothing, my nail polish (“only whores wear red”), the smell of my feet, my weight, my teeth…Anything that didn’t rise up to meet her impossible standards of what “should” be was subjected to her scrutiny.  No wonder I’m so quick to point out anything less than perfect about Crazy Jay.  LMCAO (Remember?  That stands for “laughing my crazy ass off”)

I think another possible reason I may focus on the flaws of others (and constantly point them out to some) is to bring them down to my level.  I think I am worthless.  I think I am nothing.  I think I am extraneous.  If I fixate on the problems and blemishes of others, not only does that take the attention off of MY problems and blemishes, it makes me feel more of equal.  It levels the playing field.  I don’t have to feel so inferior if I just think about all the crappy parts of the other person.  I don’t have to worry about being a piece of trash because, look!  You’re trash, too!

Jay and I tried out a therapist last night.  She tends to use what I would consider a more new-agey approach to life and therapy.  She focuses on pressure points, aroma therapy, and meditation.  She believes that negativity harms your mind and your body, and that it is manifested physically in your body.  She talked about how changing negative thoughts and getting rid of your past baggage (through a lot of hard work) can help to encourage happiness in your life.  I think there may just be something to what she says.  She said she has learned that talk therapy and medication can’t always help everything.  Sometimes one needs to approach things from a non-traditional route.  Jay and I certainly are “non-traditional” people.

I think she is going to be very helpful; both to Jay and myself as a couple, and to each of us individually.  We each have homework for this week.  My homework is to start writing down things that give me a glimmer of happiness, since I mentioned that a goal I have is to feel happy or satisfied with something…anything.  She asked me what makes me happy, and I just didn’t know what to tell her.  I can list some things that are acceptable to pass the time when I have some to spare, but that’s not happiness.  Those aren’t hobbies I enjoy.  Just things I do to get to the next minute.

Our therapist is kooky.  Jay referred to her as a “wakadoo”.  He and I both agree, though, that it’s going to take a special kind of crazy to give us the help we need.  All other therapists fell short.  I think this one may just be nutty enough to help us feel better about ourselves, and, in turn, to help our marriage to thrive.

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Marriage, Relationships, Therapy | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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