Lessons in Love

“Love yourself before you can love anyone else.”

For years I’ve been hearing sentiments like these. They’re the kind of things that people take on board, and in some ways we know them to be true but the full extent of their truth isn’t realised until we can begin to take the steps to realise them for ourselves. I often explain this feeling to others as knowing something ‘intellectually’, but not being able to comprehend it emotionally.

Self-love isn’t easy. From an early age we are judged from so many different angles that to combat those criticisms requires a lot of love. That love, I suppose, usually comes from parents and family. I feel so incredibly strongly that a loving home is the best start a child can get. Our world has changed so much, and it is a pleasure to see diversity and equality taking such huge strides. (Of course, there is so much more to be done, but that’s for another day.)

‘We’, as members of a western society have so much more opportunity than before. The chance to visit far off places, to work in whichever areas we take interest in, to explore, enquire and learn so much more than we would ever have the chance to. I know that I am lucky to have been fed every day by my parents, and that they worked hard to provide things that I wanted. My Mum certainly didn’t have that luxury and although I’ll never forget the stories of ‘bread and butter if we were lucky’, it never really struck me as something I could believe in.

I have access to a vast array of things. Whether it be simple necessities like food and drink, or more luxurious things like mobile phones, video games, books, movies, work options – the list goes on and on. Love can come from the simple things, as much as it can be shown in the luxurious things, but always it has to come in it’s most direct form. From one person to another.

My parents showed me love in their own ways, and although Love is a difficult thing to describe, and whether it’s due to Borderline Personality Disorder, or something else inherent in me myself – I have struggled to find confidence enough to say that I love me, or that I’ve ever been able to accept being loved.

I don’t love myself, and although I don’t always find it easy to accept, I feel like I am capable of loving others. When I consider my close friends and family, I will openly agree that I love each and every one of them. I’ve been picky about my friends, and I’m critical about the people I meet, but in the end I feel like I love them. Perhaps that’s because they are accepting of me as I am, or because they’ve gone through such a gruelling selection criteria that they were very likely completely unaware of – a criteria I couldn’t put values to myself. I’ve accepted them as people I love.

I am able to recognise the beliefs in my friends that I share with them. I enjoy knowing that my friends & I share common interests, which is important of course if you want to spend time with someone! It’s very easy for me to quite simply ignore the parts of my friends which I do not like. By putting those traits, beliefs or interests out of my mind and therefore out of sight it’s much easier to get along. I’m sat here trying to work out if this is a human response to friendships or if it’s as a result of Borderline that I chose to vehemently ignore those things I don’t like, because there are definitely some people who I would chose to ‘hate’ for the same opinions.

(I need another half hour of your time to explain my thoughts on the word ‘hate’, I’ve always been told it’s too extreme a word to use in application to people – but I generally find in the past I’ve either ‘loved’ or ‘hated’ people. There is very rarely a happy medium between these two points in my mind.)

Today, I feel like I have managed to take steps in the right direction to loving myself.

Quotes, internet memes, and posts that other people choose to share on the internet have helped to promote what counts as self love. This morning I ate cereal. Then I decided I was feeling far too sick to get up and go and that it was okay to go back to sleep, as long as I took my meds first.

They’re small things, but when you’re recovering they’re so important. Show yourself some love. Build up that warm confidence that you are worth it, to yourself. I am worth my own existence, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to love myself enough to be able to truly love someone else.

Helpful Links

You feel like shit. – A great support, when you’re really having trouble to self-care.

Calm.com – For a quick meditation session.

Tiny Buddha – A place for inspiration and wisdom.

Yesterday was horrible.

The difference in how I feel right now, and how I felt 24 hours ago is remarkable.

I don’t think there was a trigger, but there were a million things ‘wrong’. I don’t even want to go into it because it’s such a shitty mindset and I wish I could just make it go away.

One thing it really reinforced in me is that, now I understand all of this. The illness, the borderline – I realise how far from normal this is.

idek

It’s 8am.

This would be a good thing, you know – if I was waking up at this time of the day, but it’s night for me. I woke up at 1pm yesterday and since then have pretty much just been on the internet all day.

I watched the last few episodes of Dr Who that I got out from the library, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I’ve been tagging like crazy with Tony and getting ridiculously over-excited about threads with people.

I tried to go to sleep earlier, and about 20 minutes later I gave up and decided to check my e-mails. Again.

After that, I tried to sleep again. There’s a crazy strong wind here at the moment (28mph right now), so that’s been keeping me up. I think I have a headache because of the lack of sleep and also because I’ve pretty much just been drinking Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate for the last two weeks.

I laid down and started thinking about how ridiculous things have gotten for me. I’m so bored I’ve been trying to make ‘plans’ for my future. Wondering about whether I should try and go to university full time, or if I should try to enroll in a college course. Once I get started along that track I start thinking about what kind of job I might end up with, and how awesome it would be to be to actually have the skills to land a well paid job one day, which is laughable because it would only take a smidgen of stress and I’d be out like a light. How can I possibly maintain a job with any responsibilities when I freak out if I think someone thinks I’ve stapled something the wrong way, or made their coffee wrong, or put something down in the wrong place?

That’s when I had the genius idea to look into the possibility of private therapy and that is just laughable. Even if I had all the money in the world there are NO private counsellors I can find within 20 miles of Lincoln who offer DBT as a therapy.

I just want to curl up and give up. I just– what is the point? Everything is fight, fight, fight. I’m going home to amazing friends that I don’t deserve. I’m going to fuck everything up. I’m going to over analyse everything, even more now that I’m aware of even the simplest things being because of who I am. It’s going to drive me crazy asking someone if they’re okay only for them to tell me they are fine and I know they’re not. I can’t stand not being let in, and I can’t stand being too close to people.

It’s just pointless, really. There is no one I can think of that I haven’t upset, or been a bother to. I know that a lot of people don’t care. The point of friends is that you forgive them and move on but I never stop thinking about it. I never stop thinking about that one time I stood somewhere which was a dumb, unhelpful place to stand and didn’t even realise it and had to be told to move. I remember that time I couldn’t say anything so I grunted at my friend when they asked me if I was okay and their cheerful mood died and went to hell somewhere. I’m a vindictive, spiteful, childish little girl and I no more WANT to grow up and feel like I’m capable of it.

This life is pointless. Everything is so pointless.

This is ridiculous. :(

Oooooi.

My sleeping schedule is so messed up, and right now, as in – this minute right now I’m sat here back on the laptop after trying to sleep for the second time tonight. It’s so dumb.

I pulled an all-nighter, and so – didn’t sleep on Friday night. I got kinda tired at about 7pm, but we were out in the truck so I didn’t go to bed. The next time I felt tired enough to sleep it was midnight. So I went to bed at midnight on Saturday night, and didn’t wake up until 5pm yesterday. :/

Last night I tried going to bed at 12pm. Then I tried again at about 5am. Then again at 10am.

Every time I try to get to sleep I just can’t. It’s like I’m so tired that all I can think about is how tired I am. Usually if I’m shattered that’s it. I’m out like a light but I’ve been laid there thinking about how I’m not sure if the bedsheets are straight, and that they feel funny. Then one side of my pillow is wonky. Then I get an itch on my leg, or my hand, or my head. Then I move and it makes my hair so static that it floops into my face and oh my goodness like. What? HOW am I supposed to sleep like this?

To make matters worse, it’s now 11am, and I’m not particularly tired. I want to try to sleep again, but I’m worried that if I sleep now – I’ll probably not wake up for like, another 9 hours, or something equally ridiculous, but if I stay awake now I’m going to be so tired during the middle of the day and probably be irritable and ratty and blah blah blah. :|

WHAT TO DO?

The trouble with sleeping & more BPD.

Trigger warning: Mentions of death. (In dreams.)

A lot of people have sleep problems, and I’ve recognised that there are a million ways that people try to combat the struggle to get to sleep.

What works for me is video games. It’s got to be something pretty mundane though, whether it’s Pokemon Shuffle, or grinding on whatever RPG I’ve been playing lately. It’s never something that involves focus, like when I get a new game or want to continue the story line of whatever I’ve been playing.

Tonight, I decided to try to go to sleep at 12, and convinced myself that because I’d hardly had any sleep last night it was probably going to be easy to nod off. I played Pokemon Shuffle until I ran out of lives and then tried to fall asleep. That was probably my mistake. My eyes weren’t almost closing on me, and I wasn’t almost ‘dropping’ the 3DS.

When there’s something bothering me in ‘real life’ it’s usually that which I end up thinking about. Like something I said to someone earlier that day that I perhaps feel like I shouldn’t have, or something I said that in a situation that was likely misunderstood, or something I did which was dumb. It happens almost every time I have a conversation with people. When there’s nothing directly in my thoughts, they often wander to things that happened perhaps not today, but several days, if not years before.

It’s like playing a word association game with myself, except instead of a flash of words I see, feel and think all the thoughts I had whenever the moment happened that I’m thinking about. Sometimes I think of people, and ALWAYS I think about the worst situation I’ve been in with them. That one time I was sure they ‘saw right through me’ and understood that my comprehension of whatever is happening is far more than I’m making out to be. I know I can worm my way out of a lot of situations, but equally I know that there are times when I am so oblivious to something – AND there are other days when I know I’m oblivious to something, but I’m not sure what it is (or, that is my perception!! There’s a ‘problem’ but there isn’t.)

So the thoughts gradually twist, memories of one person will link to another, with someone else in another situation that is progressively ‘worse’. Like I said in my last post, things are ‘easy’ here so it’s no trouble to simply get out of bed and do something else. There are no issues if I stay up late and wake up much later. It’s those moments when I force myself to stay in bed and sleep, usually ’cause I have work or whatever in the morning that start to spiral out of control.

To make it worse, I’m terrible when I haven’t had enough sleep.

Tonight, I’m not going to bother trying to force myself to sleep. It’s not worth the inevitable pain that it will eventually cause, whether that’s in the form of freakish thoughts of death (like spontaneous combustion!!) – or that ‘feeling spiral’ that lands me believing my life is pointless and there is no point in my being here. It’s a feeling I’ve never been able to explain myself, but I’ve read a lot of things other people with BPD have written that seem to hit the nail on the head and it’s agony. That’s all I can really say. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to find the words to explain the process.

Anyway. I guess I am starting to over think things again. I have placed pressure on myself. I signed up to complete NaNoWriMo this year, and already I’m finding it hard just to do because I so desperately want to find creativity and writing is my passion. Maybe I’m just forcing myself to do something when I shouldn’t be!? I keep questioning so many things.

I want to find success, and I suppose the fact that I’ve been here a month and it feels more like a year should give me a sense of things to come. I have 47 days here still, and I keep going through cycles of managing to stay ‘calm and relaxed’, and just let life happen. Then I have other days, when I’m trying to take notes about what I’ll do when I get home. Projects I want to complete. Possibilities to make myself some money, goals I want to achieve, promises I want to keep and it’s so dumb, and yet it’s so ME.

I want to be successful, and I want it to happen right now. It’s part of the reason I’ve decided NOT to look for work right away. It’s the reason I want to ease myself back to reality and responsibility and people, because I know I need time to adjust. I’m uncertain if my impatience with myself is self-sabotage, or if I’m so worried about what people will say if I don’t get a job right away that I’m convincing myself I need to at least have some kind of side income.

Again, as always. I just want to be normal, and be able to reach out to people and not let my perceptions ruin my relationships with friends and family. One day, I hope I can have a conversation with someone without picking it apart for the rest of the day. I hope I can find ‘myself’ and know for sure what I want to do with my life and do it. I know I’m capable. I wanted to go to Australia, so I did it!

It’s just one long road, and I suppose a part of it is finding a way to help myself learn how to ‘shut off’.

BPD & ‘Time Out’

I need to explain my current situation.

I am living with my Mum & my Step-Dad. They have been happily married for over 8 years. We live in a tiny ‘city’ in Alaska, away from everything. There is one shop, a post office, and a library which opens for two hours a night. I have my own room, a TV a DVD player, satellite internet and access to food 24/7.

There are no expectations made of me. My Mum cooks dinner every night, and makes offers throughout the day about food. She reminds me to take my tablets, eat and drink. I have a bathroom connected to mine with the option for a shower or a bath.

Right now, I am able to have no worries. I have enough money in the bank to survive the first few months of being back home in the UK in December, and the my credit card companies are accepting a very small payment each month whilst I get back on my feet. There is no one who is expecting contact from me. (Or, maybe there is, but I’m not aware of it). I do not have to talk to anyone. My Mum has mastered the art of wordless communication and although sometimes I know she doesn’t particularly agree with being hummed at as a response, she’s accepted it.

If I sleep until 4pm, or stay up until 4am. If I stay in bed all day, or go out the entire day – it doesn’t matter. If I don’t get dressed all day, or if I have three baths, or if I want to sit on the couch all day and watch TV it doesn’t matter. Right now, I am as catered for as I have ever been.

This is the best possible situation for someone like me. Right now, understanding my BPD has been made incredibly simple. In the first few weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking. I was having dreams of things about home, Australia, and all kinds of ‘issues’ that have, and will be recurring nightmares for me. These have reduced massively, and although I still have the most ridiculous dreams they are not relative to situations I have been in and take blame for, and they do not make me feel toxic, disgusting or unwanted.

I have had confrontations with my Mum, and I have done my best to explain to her when, and what makes me feel isolated from her. We have had amazing discussions about how BPD affects me and my life, and after an incident recently, my Step-Dad responded by letter with the most sincere words. These are things I have been desperate for from people I am close to for the longest time. Right now I am safe. I am loved, I am cared for, I am calm and relaxed. There are no pressures.

It seems to me like this is a sanctuary, and right now I am refusing the look too much further forward out of a fear that this will be my last chance to feel anything close to normal.

I love every one of my friends back home, and I care about them, and think about them on a regular basis but right now I’ve placed myself in a bubble – and I’m here on the inside, me, Mum, Craig, and the two dogs. Everyone else is out there. I know, that eventually this bubble is going to pop and I want to be as prepared as possible for the Fallout of it.

Since being diagnosed with BPD I’ve read pages and pages, and blog posts, and studies and personal accounts, questions and answers about people who have BPD, have recovered from BPD, have loved people with BPD. After years of feeling confused and alone regarding my initial diagnosis (depression) I have the answer. It’s like there’s been a huge metal door in front of me, and now I have the keys to open it and start walking to the ‘other side’. There are people like me, in this huge world which has been just now opened up and they understand. They speak to me in a language I understand and are helping me to work out what I have and what I want to do now that I know.

I’ve learnt, and accepted that I am a compassionate person. I’ve learnt that I’m not compassionate toward those I have perceived as ‘bad people’. I have been made aware of the way that people with BPD put others into categories, and agree that this is something I do. I categorise people in the very first moments of meeting them, whether they are people I have just met, or people I have known all my life. It’s not difficult for anyone to move from one category to the other. These categories are usually very black and white with no grey area. There is no grey area. I either agree or disagree and that is one of the lessons that I have begun to learn whilst I’m here.

My Step-Dad and I have incredibly different ideas politically, and at first this was incredibly difficult for me to accept. Before I visited over a year ago, I was sure that he was the type of person who would hate me and everything I stand for. I could not have been more wrong. My mother explained something to me which I struggled to understand at first. The concept of ‘agreeing to disagree’. I’ve heard people talk about it for years, and only recently was I able to actually understand the concept. I love my Step-Dad. I am incredibly lucky that my Mum married someone who accepted her for everything she was, and in turned agreed to accept me for everything I am. He is a very hard-working man, who has given me the opportunity to come here, and relax. He understands that I was struggling, and will continue to struggle. He & my Mum, together, tried hard to find a way that I could come and stay with them on a more permanent basis. He was prepared to take me on, and allow me to live with him for however long it might take until I felt able to live on my own terms again.

Unfortunately, US immigration laws mean I am unable to stay here for longer than 90 days at a time, so I am making the most of the time that I have.

This is an opportunity I will not have again, but I feel that it will be pivotal in my approach toward ‘wellness’. As soon as I arrive home I will be bombarded with uncertainties and feelings that I don’t know how I will react to, and I must admit I am a little scared of how things will turn out. I’m ready now, more than I have ever been, to learn, and to accept and to start moving forward.

There are parts of me that I want to change. I refuse to go through life not knowing who I am. I refuse to make excuses for my behaviour. I refuse to let this rule my life. I am determined to be independent, responsible and confident.

It is not going to happen overnight.

I want to be ready to tackle my uncertainties, and I want to learn which behaviours are damaging and which support healthy relationships. I want to be able to question my impulses and readily welcome support in fighting them when they are inappropriate. I’m ready to place boundaries upon myself, and develop a new set of rules and limits.

I know it’s going to be hard, and that as soon as I arrive home things are going to be different. I am going to be living with people whose lives do NOT revolve around me, with two incredible friends who have offered a roof over my head and my first challenge is going to be working out how to live with them without feeling that I owe my life to them, but equally accepting that I need to respect their space, way of living, personal space and feelings. I need to learn how to accept that I can be wrong in what I believe they feel, and accept that although I may struggle to accept that ‘there is nothing wrong’, I need to accept that it is what they want me to believe. (This feels like the hardest part, to be honest.) I know I want to be useful, and I want to be every part the best housemate I can be whilst I’m there – but I know that there will be day when I cannot. I want only to make promises I know I can keep, and be positive for as much of the time as I can. I want us all to feel comfortable and able to live with each other.

The fact that this is just one area of what my life will be frightens me, because the weight of just this feels hard enough. I don’t know how other people with BPD manage to live with someone else, never mind someone else who is allowing you to live in their home with them.

I have already considered how difficult it will be to live in the middle of the city, and equally how perfect the location will be for me. I’m going to have to learn to be strict with myself, whilst simultaneously being kind to myself.

I’m going to have to stop before I overwhelm myself.

The point of this post was supposed to be to explain how I’m managing, right here and now with no symptoms of BPD. I feel like a fraud, when I read posts and comments because right now I quite literally do not have a care in the world.

When I get back home, however – I know I’m going to stumble on many things. I am scaredand I am worried, and although I know it will take time, I also feel positive about it. I’m a fighter, and I am going to get better – no matter how much time it takes.

I’m doing it, this is really happening.

After I got my Science GCSE results back the second time around I decided that it was probably time to ditch the dream of becoming a vet. The truth was – and I knew it even back then, I just wasn’t academic enough. I’d lost interest in learning, and was spending so much time online writing in one way or another that the idea of taking classes very quickly became a joke.

I don’t think I ever managed an entire week in Sixth Form during my last year there, and when I dropped out I don’t think anyone was surprised. It’s not that I didn’t have drive though. No sooner had I dropped in to start the process at the Job Centre, less than a week later I was employed! It stayed that way for a long time until just over a year ago and at the time it was the most devastating news I’d ever been given.

It became clear to me that working with children with autism was something I was good at, and although I still stand by my belief that I could, did, and would be able to support people with autism in the future – it’s my dream job because of what it was to me in those last few weeks at work. Despite the imminent redundancy, and the constant confusion that I know recognise came with not understanding my own actions (which I strongly believe were influenced by BPD), I felt safer than I had ever done working in a class with colleagues who truly worked together.

Looking forward, at the path I want to take when I finally return to the U.K – I’m not sure that such intense, full time work will crop up so easily. I know, thanks to my new diagnosis that the things I found hard were things that people with BPD find hard. I know that I have needs as an employee that are liable to change at the drop of a hat, but I still maintain, whenever people ask me – that I would be able to work with a class if I knew that I would be working with the same set of adults and children throughout the day. I know the first few months will be hard, until I feel comfortable and get a sense of ‘knowing’ the people around me. Hopefully, with some therapy the process will take far less time, and maybe some of the more difficult parts of every day life will be easier, not just for me, but the people I have to work with.

Until then, I have found something I am enjoying just as much as I’d always hoped I would!

A career as a Freelance Writer wasn’t always in the forefront of my mind when I thought about writing as a job. I have a creative mind, and a desperate desire to write a best selling novel and I know I have the concept there, and the ability to do it. It took me a long time before I started looking into doing other work for people – and it turns out I feel pretty confident that I’m doing a good job of it. The end of this week brought with it a surprise request for not one, but five articles. It’s the start of something that I hope continues, but the only way is up when the work starts to come in!

I’ve handed in the work that was due, and am currently hanging on to find out my client’s thoughts and feelings about the work I’ve done – but I don’t feel as anxious as I thought I might in this type of circumstance. I offered my continued work – should what I produced not come to any standards and at the end of the day it’s just a person on the internet, and not someone I would have to work with on a daily basis and fear that something I say or do might make them angry/frustrated/upset/worried/concerned.

To feel confident in my ability to say to someone, ‘Yeah, I’m a writer.’ is a feeling I’m proud of, and although it might not stick with me come the morning (because it seems increasingly true that when the highs come that little higher than usual it’s because there’s a low coming right after.), right now I feel like I could confidently express myself as being a writer. A published author in fact!

Here’s hoping things keep moving on in the same way.

Edit: Because just look at those reviews!

Just another BPD moment

Two days ago I decided that I would try to make peanut butter cookies.

The cookie dough has been sat in the fridge for two days in a plastic container and today I chose to finally cook them.

Today my Mum & Step-Dad have been trying to get some stuff done. They have this way of talking to each other sometimes, where they ‘pretend’ to say things that you wouldn’t normally say to people. ‘God sake, you got crisp marks on my paper’, and one of them wanted to print something off and the other wanted something else.

So, the computer that’s attached to the printer is in ‘my’ room, and like, two weeks ago I was sat in there watching TV and the speakers for the computer started making that weird feedback noise that you usually hear when your mobile phone is nearby. I haven’t bothered to charge my phone since I got here, because not only do I not have a sim card, I’m in America, and in the middle of nowhere. So I pulled the speaker cables out.

Mum came in and asked about the speakers and I went without an issue to put the cables back, but it felt like I’d been rude. I should have put the cables back. Then he wanted some CDs to burn something onto and I’d moved a bunch of stuff so I had space to write. The CDs were just on top of the speakers but he went to go and get some new ones and opened a whole new batch.

THEN, I was sat out in the living room and the telephone went off. I only worked it out when the dog started barking (I was listening to music on my computer whilst playing Civ 5) I thought he would get it in ‘my’ room because there’s a phone in there, but then he came out and got the phone in here, and then I was thinking okay I must have done something to the phone in there.

When he finally finished and came out again I asked him if he was mad, and then if he was cross, and he said no both times but I guess I felt so strongly that he clearly was frustrated. I’d caused frustration and to make it worse I’d decided to bake these cookies at a time when I knew asking my Mum for help would make her frustrated because she was busy doing something else, so I went and did it myself.

I ended up first with a batch of cookie tin shaped mass and they didn’t look right and it was a mess and I was so frustrated and I really shouldn’t have been. I thought maybe I’d just put too many on at once. When it came to putting the second batch in, I left more space for them and then my Mum, who had finished everything came over to look and said ‘oh’.

She wasn’t angry, she didn’t use an angry voice, she asked me if I’d baked cookies before and I said ‘not these ones’ and she showed me how she would have pressed down just a little on the balls of dough instead of squishing them right down. I felt so dumb, and it seemed like such a waste of ingredients! I just got so frustrated with myself. I’m not even angry though, it’s like a vague sensation of nothing.

Then I dropped the last few dough balls on the floor and that was that really.

It took me a long time to learn to settle my temper. I’ve had to, because I’ve always been so aware of how emotionally abusive I can be – and just related it to treating people badly. So I don’t blow off steam, but I guess now I just get sad. Maybe it would have been different if I’d had other day-to-day things to think about, but right now when my only real worry right now is trying to keep my sleeping schedule ‘normal’ there are no other inputs. None!

Mum tried hard to pep me up, and I told her what I was feeling and how I was sure I’d made my Step-Dad mad, and she said he would tell me if he was and that I was making something out of nothing and I told her I KNEW I was making something out of nothing – but it doesn’t help with the feeling that settles in your gut, or sort of, all around your insides, under your heart and under your rib cage like something you want to rip out and get rid of.

I still cried. I still found it hard to find a ‘settled’ feeling inside me.

Living here with so few ‘contributing factors’ has made me see what my BPD is like, I guess in it’s purest form – or something like that. It’s how easily I get upset by things, and how hard I find it to understand when my Mum & Step-Dad really are cross, or when they’re just messing about. Mum raises her voice a lot, and she’s always yelled at me about things that apparently she wasn’t really yelling about. It’s difficult for me to even explain a situation, but they enjoy doing it.

My Step-Dad will be sat on the recliner, watching TV, on his laptop with the little dog beside him. Mum will ask him if he wants anything because she’s making a cup of tea, and he’ll say ‘Yeah! I want Ice Cream, with cake and chocolate sauce’ and she’ll say ‘I don’t know what your last slave died of’ and he’ll make some other remark and this– I can handle now because it’s every day and I know they really get a kick out of it because they’re all smiles and laughing.

When it’s in other situations sometimes I just– I don’t know it freaks me out. I was trying to explain how confused I get to them, and they both burst out laughing saying something like ‘you can be abusive to me dear’ and I know to them it’s NOT abusive, but I wasn’t sure if I was being stupid for being like I am. I don’t find it funny when people make jokes like that, it’s something I thought was ‘wrong’ behaviour when I realised I was doing it to one of my ex girlfriends and I thought it was just the way I’d been brought up and no it wasn’t right, but I could change and I try to change.

It’s just so confusing.

But I NEED it.

I need help.

I’ve been looking at the apple store, and I could totally buy myself the new iPhone 6S. I totally want the iPhone 6S and there is pretty much nothing right now that can make me think otherwise.

I know I could apply for Paypal Credit, according to the Apple website – not sure whether they would accept me, but I have paypal credit on my account already. It would only cost £33.60 a month for 2 years to have an iPhone 6S. In my hands. It totally feels like something I should do too.

After all, my current iPhone is running out of battery after about an hour of vague usage, and I had my iPod stolen so I could use the 6S to store all my music. AND, I’d be able to play Fallout Shelter on it, which is clearly THE most important thing in my life.

I’m thinking about the consequences. I’ve already spoken to my Mum about it, she’s right here but the impulse to go ahead and buy the phone anyway is burning HARD. Even though she’s telling me it’s just a phone and that I don’t really need it, I cannot explain to you how much I want to buy it.

I’m thinking about how I’ve had to borrow money from a bunch of people. I’ve been sent money by my Step-Dad and borrowed money off some friends back home and I know I should feel guilty because technically that isn’t even my money but I so want this phone right now that I can’t find it in myself to feel guilty when I SHOULD be thinking of them first. I owe them money, and the £33.60 a month would go a long way to paying them back every month, never mind the debtors that I owe far more than a few hundred pounds.

It’s difficult to stop thinking about it though.

I get these impulses all the time and fighting them takes all my focus because it’s not just something that I’ve been thinking about RIGHT NOW, I think about it very often. Every time I think about listening to music, or the apps I want to be able to use to ‘make money’ when I get home, and the adverts on TV and on the internet and blah blah blah. There’s so much stuff.

I think I’ll feel bad when Fallout 4 comes out and I insist on buying that. After all, I should be contributing to the people who will be letting me stay in their house come December. I feel like such a selfish person when I think about it like that, but I’m not – I just really want these things because I need them. How do you even manage to tell yourself you don’t need something when you do?

BPD & feeling like a faker.

Someone on reddit posted this: [https://www.reddit.com/r/BPD/comments/3o42jy/still_unsure_whether_i_am_actually_sick_or_just/]. Speaking up about their own feelings of invalidation over their illness.

I started writing a comment, and then realised that as always I was going to start babbling. It really made sense just to get it down in words for myself and babble where it’s safe.

The idea that my illness was ‘all in my mind’ was something I contended with even when I didn’t have a diagnosis of BPD, but was made to feel like I was, in the words of the psychiatrist I saw when I was 20, ‘just depressed’. At the time I didn’t know much about other possibilities and had posed to him the idea that I might have Bipolar. 

I’ve started to wonder if the biggest issue with Borderline is a kind of self-awareness that you have of the people you can be. When I look back on my 10 year career, I realise first of all, how understanding my first boss was, without him knowing that I have BPD or even really accepting that there was an issue. I was surrounded by people who, now that I think about it, accepted me as that person who was capable of fulfilling their task without fault, but also had flashes of time when it was just impossible. I had colleagues that I could work almost perfectly with, because I was so sure of myself, the task and the children that I was working with – but even then I had ‘bad’ days and they were understanding enough of the depressive state to accept that as the ‘issue’. 

I had the type of job where no two days were ever the same. Sometimes I walked into the building with a very clear-cut idea of what I would achieve as an ‘I.T Technician’ of sorts, only to be told that several people were off sick, so could I be a teaching assistant in this class with a teacher I didn’t really know for one lesson and then spend the rest of the day in the office. 

Those days were the hardest, only until I got over the anxiety that I didn’t know how those teachers wanted me to act. Especially in the later months of my employment, when there was a change of management, I struggled with the concept of not knowing expectations, and people – in the way I know so many others with BPD will relate – that I ended up having far too many days off work. I just couldn’t cope with being in an environment where I knew nothing, and was expected to live up to my own expectations! How could I possibly function properly in a classroom of people I knew nothing about. I hadn’t coded them yet. Were they people I could trust, or not? 

My biggest issue has always been the unknown, and now I find it easy to admit that I cannot read people, and I hate it. I cannot read their intents, I cannot read their laughter, or their emotions. 

I went through a period of time where, even now I feel sure I could sense that there was something wrong. It didn’t even have to be something wrong with me, but of course I found it very easy to find a fault in myself that ‘must’ have been the cause of their unfamiliar behaviour. It landed me, and someone I worked closely with in a very difficult situation and I’m still not quite sure how I could have made it better. I wanted to be strong, to learn how to accept that I could be doing something wrong without it being the ‘I’ was wrong. I was so scared of not fitting in, and of being told that this environment that I had grown to believe was ‘the’ place for me that to take criticism of any kind was such an emotional rollercoaster. I don’t even want to say rollercoaster – it would be more like being tossed off a mountain top and being made to feel every rock as I tumbled right down to the bottom. 

I’ve spent many an hour thinking about that situation and wondering how I could change myself so that I wasn’t making people worried to correct me, and I think I’m slowly realising and coming to understand that it’s me. The problem is me, and that’s what’s so frustrating about BPD. You can be so self-aware, and at the same time it’s like if you stepped out of yourself for a minute to look, you might as well be looking at some kind of alien species instead of seeing the you that you think you know so well.

I’m aware that I’m hypersensitive, and I’m aware that I don’t ‘fit’ in so many social situations despite my best efforts. I’m aware that I look for connections with people so I can feel attached to them, and I feel every single difference acutely, as if those things are a threat to friendships and relationships. As if the fact that someone enjoys rock climbing means that we can never be friends because I’m really not a rock climber right now, but I could be! I could be a rock climber too if I went on a diet and lost weight and went rock climbing, I could be that person too! We could be friends. 

I’m babbling, but I’m sure there’s a point in here somewhere. There’s a connection to those feelings of fakery. Despite all this, and this is just the way I’m feeling right now, on a good day when I know the only two people I have to please are my Mum and my Step-Dad and there is no one else who will make a surprise phone call, or a home visit. I don’t have to worry about whether I’ll ‘feel able to work’ in a few days when work starts up again because there is no work. I’m safe. 

Not completely safe though, because every night when I go to bed the thoughts start up. When I stop distracting myself with ‘things’, that’s when the memories of ‘before’ start and the things I did wrong, and the people I hurt, and the words I said, and the things I didn’t do. 

 

I also wonder if some of those ‘fake’ feelings come from a place where you are safe. It’s because you aren’t working, and don’t have the constant worry about where your next paycheque is coming from, or whether your boss is going to sack you for that thing you said the other day to someone who doesn’t even know where you work. It’s because after a period of ‘protecting’ yourself from the ‘elements’, you feel a little better about things. You know you can work. You know you have amazing days. There are days when there is NO ONE who can do the job better than you. In fact, why don’t they just clone you a few times and you could do the job of all those people you work with and get it done better than them! 

The idea is actually kind of sickening. That you can feel this way about people you care about, people you call your friends and colleagues that you would like to spend time with outside of work. What kind of person does that make you anyway? Then on those really bad days, it’s easy to tell yourself that they’re all thinking the same thing of you. When thinking about the people you love and care about is agony, because you think they like you – but you’re so aware of how you can hate them, what’s to say they don’t feel the same way about you? 

I’ve spent time with a best friend, sat in my living room wishing that they would just go home and leave me alone – but been unable to say the words. So, what’s to say that in those moments where you want nothing more than to spend time with them – that they don’t want the same thing from you? Just fuck off and leave me alone already! I love my friends. They are all the most amazing people, for what they do, the way they think, their quirkiness and their every day ‘being’. I love them all, and I know they must be my friend for some reason, but I wish I knew what it was. 

This is really turning into babble now. 

I just want to be okay in the decisions I’m going to make. I’m scared. I feel fake every time I make that call into work to say I can’t make it in. I feel fake every time I have a complete and utter melt down. I feel fake every time I start thinking about that one day where I did that thing and it turns into that spiral that sometimes I feel like I can control and other times, I just can’t. It starts, and then in seconds you’re there at the bottom and the only thing you can think is ‘why am I even here?’ Anything else feels like a desperate attempt to deny all the bad things you know about yourself, and forget all the people you’ve hurt. 

I don’t want to end this on a bad note, but I’m quickly losing interest in this entire blog post because it’s gone so far off course and I’m a writer – so I should be able to reign it back, but my impulsive tendencies dictate that I can’t ‘leave’ something to edit and post later. My brain doesn’t work like that. 

Everything will be okay. It’s going to be okay.