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.

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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.

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.

What the future holds

Cold Bay has a library, and I went there specifically to fetch some DVDs to watch for something to do. I’d hoped to find Supernatural, maybe one of the new marvel films or something like that.

In the end I brought home The Judge, The Quantum of Solace, the first season of Blacklist and a documentary on autism called Autism is a World.

I’m not sure how I ‘forgot’ about the children I used to work with – but there are so many children that I’ve seen and worked with in the past that I wish I could continue to work with. There have been times when I’ve felt so sure about what I want to do in the future, especially when I’ve worked specifically with individuals with autism. It’s hard to feel certain that it’s something that I’m good at. I’ve been told I work well by the same people who have told me that I couldn’t work for them anymore.

Having watched this, I feel so much more sure about the way that I used to communicate and interact with the students I worked with. I tend to get ridiculously ‘lofty’ ideas about myself, and my ability to support them, and then when the end of the day came along I would spend hours trying to work out which bits I did wrong and could almost always find a way to uproot my reasoning and replace it with something else that meant what I did was the wrong course of action.

I’m 100% sure that the Borderline makes it more difficult to accept what other people say about me, mostly when it’s good things that they have to say.

I read a post, on reddit again, that talked about the good things that come from having something like Borderline, and one of the things that really stood out for me was the idea that we are more able to understand others. I can understand and empathise so well with people, so easily – in a lot of ways I think that’s what helps me to work with the people I’ve worked with. I desperately hope that it’s not something that I’ve constructed myself, or a belief that isn’t true.

I feel certain that I have a future in the supporting of children and young adults with autism, it just feels like that’s where I fit in. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to make a huge impact on the lives of many people – I used to feel like there was something more I would be able to do and maybe that’s just me speaking as I am right now – where I feel like I’m right at the ‘bottom’ of the ladder, but for now a future where I can do the best I can for a few individuals feels like a massive accomplishment.

Just thinking about these kinds of things makes me wish that I could just go back home right away. I’ve already constructed a plan in my head of things that I want to happen and I’m aware of how damaging that is, but I can’t help but make plans and want to do things that I set my heart on. It’s a dangerous thing, and god only knows how many people have warned me against planning ahead and living for today – after all, there are still just over 2 months until I go home to the UK and until then I want to be able to achieve something.

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. 

BPD in action?

When I woke up this morning, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. I’m not sure what it was that made me feel like that… but I just knew. In hindsight I should have thought about it enough to be able to write it down before the day began.

Well after I’d eaten breakfast, my Step-Dad had a chicken sandwich. One of those ones that you stick in the microwave to heat up and eat, and about 30 minutes later I felt like I wanted one too, so I went to the freezer to look for one but there wasn’t one there. It’s an open plan area, so I asked Mum and she said there weren’t any more.

I pretended to throw a tantrum (and I feel the need to say that I really was pretending, I wasn’t really intensely upset by not having anything to eat. My general feeling toward that fact was a shrug.), got down on my knees and whined about not being able to eat, and whined at my Mum about not knowing what to eat and then she started to make suggestions, but to be honest, there wasn’t anything I particularly wanted. Noodles, a peanut butter sandwich, soup. I’m really not partial to these kinds of things, but I found it difficult to voice the feeling because this then whilst I was sat there, I realised how ridiculous I looked.

I’m almost 30 years old, sat on the floor – which is covered in bits of dirt and dog hair, laid down on the floor whining about not knowing what to eat and I was overcome with a feeling of… just upset. I was just upset. Who else even does that?

My Mum was giving me suggestions and I just laid there feeling really stupid and not being able to tell her what I wanted, or didn’t want or how stupid I felt being aware that at 30… Thirty. I was laid there in the middle of the kitchen floor acting like a child.

It was difficult to feel bad about it. It was equally difficult to picture anyone else of my age, or any of the people I know acting in the same way.

It’s also hard to accept that I don’t think I would want to act any other way. It felt completely natural to get into that position, and it was hard for me to think that this was behaviour I probably needed to change. Even as I type this I’m thinking about the masses of people who will think that I’m a dumb kid who refuses to grow up.