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 Post subject: New but old really
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Hi, I have been looking for a site like this for a while. I was on another site for a while but got so sick of reading post after post of people moaning about thier lives being awful and other people making them feel bad. In order to get onto another more advanced site I had to post so many times but I couldn't post because I just didn't know what I could say. Everyone just seemed to be sypathising and enabling each other to suffer and I knew that wasn't productive. I joined to find out how to cope not to rant.
I get the feeling that most people here will be youngish having recently been diagnosed.
I am in my 50's and have just come through four years plus of addiction recovery. I have worked very hard on that and achieved freedom from my addiction, service to my fellowship etc.
However once the addiction was gone all these strange thought patterns and behavioural and relationship issues I remembered from my youth seem to be coming back to haunt me and I am really unhappy.
It seems that it is possible that I did suffer and still suffer from BPD and that I used the addictive behaviour to blot that out so that I could live a normal (but in many ways dysfunctional) life.
I am afraid that when I was younger nobody recognised BPD.
I seem to have by trial and error and constant self examination conquered or at least learned to live with some of it. Some of it I have learned to hide very well. But now I really want to beat it and I am hoping that this site will give me the help I need to do this.


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 Post subject: Re: New but old really
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:12 pm
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CaraB,

I am so glad you have found this site. It will very helpful to you....I hope as much as it has been to me in the past.
I believe that BPD is something that you can have, but still lead a wonderful life if you understand yourself and your behavior. I was diagnosed with bpd in my late 20's, and I am now 63. It has been a real struggle at times, but at 63 I feel the best that I have felt in my life. I still take an antidepressant, but I feel my bpd thinking is under control. I know you can do it as well.

Dagwood


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 Post subject: Re: New but old really
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:23 am 
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Cara B,

I, too, am 63 but just discovered this year that I have BPD. I knew I always felt “bad” about myself, felt unworthy of love, and felt worthless with no identity, but I didn't know why or what was going on. After realizing that my underlying fear/terror was fear of abandonment, things began to fall into place. I read everything I could about BPD and wrote up my own version of how it played out in my life. I had an affair over 2 years ago that destroyed my family. My husband still loved me and was willing to work with me to find out what was wrong, help me, and keep loving me while making me feel safe to unravel my problems. I certainly had my BPD well hidden. None of my therapists had a clue. Neither did we! Since Learning that fear of abandonment was my largest demon, that led me to BPD. There I found myself well defined. The amorphous emotions of feeling bad, worthless, unlovable, empty, no identity, no self-esteem, impulsiveness, and just not being able to read people got me into trouble as my grown kids began to leave home. I had the affair around this time with a man I had known long before I met my husband.

Here's a sketch of what I have been doing to “fix” myself. I have written out all of my problem areas, looked for the trigger points that set them off, have put in place a replacement behavior (even if it's taking some deep breaths, closing my mouth and not talking, or revealing my impulses or whatever to my husband. I realized that I was lying to cover over the affair and all the phone calls and emails that made me get home late from work. After about 6 months of dealing with all the lies, coming clean on everything and answering all my husband's questions, I realized that my lying was only the symptom to cover over a sense of PRIVACY, where I could hide things that I didn't want anyone to know about. This caused me to have even lower self-esteem and put distance between an open relationship with my husband and grown kids. I decided the day I figured this out that the truth was far better than keepying lies and secrets. This was the real beginning of my recovery, since I kept none of myself hidden from my husband. (My kids didn't want to hear anything about me or my recovery, so we no longer have personal relationships where they talk to me about their lives. At least they talk to me now.)

Some of my issues were impulsiveity, black and white thinking, lying, misreading people, projection of my anger, lack of identity, emptiness, mood changes and depression, stress, wothless, unlovable, FEAR OF ABANDONMENT, wanting to be dead, etc. I realized that this originated when I was an infant and my parents cound't connect because of their own disconnected backgrounds and abusive behaviors. I worked the 12 steps as a way to work though this, even though I am not an alcoholic, and began my recovery. What I learned about my BPD is that each behavior has trigger points. I have worked to isolate the trigger points and replace them with something else like deep breathing, prayer, a short exerxice, an alternative behavior, etc. I then wrote up my BPD as though it were a physical illness called Border Mal Seizure and listed all my symptoms. Why did I do this? Because I think if I approach this as a physical illness, I won't get so down on myself even though I am making much smaller mistakes in my behavior than before as I get control over this. I then wrote out a “treatment” plan that involved asking my husband to keep me safe during my “seizure” by wrapping his arms around me tightly, which is also what he does when he hugs me with a sense of safety and closeness. I thought if I could break up my behaviors into a list that we might both be able to stop my behavior in its tracks by doing something that includes attachmment, safety, and love. Hopefully, this will help me bypass some of my self-loathing and treat it as an illness with a treatment. In fact, I will paste my list here in case you can use any of it for yourself.

Diagnosis: Border Mal Seizures

Symptoms:
Change in voice
Anger
Confusion
Argumentitive
Throw objects
Leave the room
Sarcasm
Facial expressions
Projection
Moodiness

Treatment:
Safety first: put arms around patient and squeeze tightly and with a sense of safety.
Discourse: pronounce, one safely in arms, that patient is inhabiting borderland and is not in a safe place to be. Tell patient it is time to leave borderland and come back to reality. If this fails, take patient to sofa or bed and hold until the symptoms subside.
Touch: Petting and stroking take the sting out of the underlying thoughts that cause symptoms and allow the opportunity for discussion in a normal tone.
Underlying thoughts: Humiliation, failure, emptiness, fear, lonliness, crazyness, confusion, grey zone between black and white, impulsiveness, neediness, lost, can't find way back.

Aftermath: Guilt, sorrow, grief, self anger, frustration, loss, failure, lack of control, fear of permanent loss.

Note: These symptoms, process, and aftermath are primarily directed at self but present as projections. Feeling out of control and lost instigate a sense of extreme fear, loss, and anxiety that are self-directed but projected onto others as a sense of preserving what is left of self. Please not that extreme shame and sorrow follow these border mal seizures which may, if untreated, last for an hour to two days. Treatment can be very effective, with few negative side effects for the patient. It is the caregiver who experiences the side effects, which also last up to two days or more, depending on the the severity of the seizure. Do not leave patient unattended and do NOT engage with seizure behaviors, however much one wants to offer “help.” The only help is to stop the seizure in a manner that keeps the patient safe from self harm or harm to others.

I know this is long, but I hope you can find something out of this that may help you in your road to recovery. I have found that it is perhaps most difficult for me to control my impulsivity (especially when I want to talk to my kids or explain what to watch out for, because I know I passed some of this onto them and they don't even know they have it). The step that has allowed me to recover the most was giving up my privacy so my husband and I could be totally open and close, even if I told him I lied or felt anxious and so on. We have rebuilt our relationship (so far) so that it is better, more intimate, and just closer than ever. I still get so upset with myself when I fall into a BPD behavior and I have to work on that. '

I also realized that too many things were working out in a way that neither of us could have planned for, and this brought prayer and grace into the picture. I was never sure of my relationship with the Lord, but now I feel we have been handed so much grace that I can't ignore it. Prayer, gratitude, asking for mercy and strength and to soften my childrens' hearts are part of what I do when I get close to BPD thinking. I also do it every day.

I hope you will find what you are looking for in this forum. I know I sometimes think other people do not give enough details to really know what they are going through, but it helps me to write out what I am going through and how I am learning to deal with it. By sharing, I reinforce my own plans for recovery. In fact, I just a few days ago I had a bout that last two days because I had misread two different people I knew from my borderland times, who leaked into the present. I get down on myself, project my anger, and start a whirlwind of painful agony for both my husband and me. This is when I made up my “diagnosis” list.

Take care and know that you can improve, even if little by little, but it does help to build a foundation and begin to form an identity based on reality, which was something I could easily drop in the past. If you are committed to getting better, chances are good that you will if you make it a priority in your life. I know I want my relationship with my husband to grow more intimate and fulfilling each day and I would love to get my kids back someday. I am also tired of hating myself, being afraid and angry, and out of control with my impulses and moods.

Cynwyd


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 Post subject: Re: New but old really
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:41 am 
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PS: I should have mentioned that I lived my entire life focused only on ME (self-centered), which kept me from attaching to my husband and kids in a way that was beneficial for THEM. I have been working on turning this into being selfless and looking at what I can do to be useful to those I love and care about.


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 Post subject: Re: New but old really
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Hi Cynwyd, and thank you for all of that. It rang so many bells within me. I have learned about honesty and openness in my recovery fellowship and in my faith group (I am a Quaker and they place a particular value on Truth). You are so very fortunate to have a husband who is so responsive and supportive. There is nowhere near that much in my own marriage but like you it was an affair which made me realise my downward path. My husband never found out about it and I am reluctant to hurt him by telling him but I am hoping through relationship counselling to try to make the most I can of the relationship and to learn to be vulnerable within it. I often long to be held in the way you describe and he has never offered physical contact to comfort me, only to satisfy his own needs, maybe he can learn, and I can learn to ask.
It is fascinating that you used the 12 steps to facilitate your recovery but not surprising, they are applicable to any situation in which I am powerless. Addiction recovery recognises the black and white, all or nothing attitude as typical, it also recognises self absorbtion as a major fault and encourages the reliance on God and spiritual awakening needed to break the cycle of shame.
Thank you for helping me to realise that I have already 'broken the back' of my BPD and that all that is necessary is a willingness to embrace new techniques and attitudes.


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