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 Post subject: So, ok-I'm not "normal"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:28 am 
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Hello - my name is Michelle. I am 38. Since I was 15 I have been "told" that I have one form or another of a mental illness. At 15 I was probably diagnosed most accurately with "uncontrollable anger and depression". Back then the meds of choice were Lithium and Valium. Throughout the next 10 years I would yo-yo between being a walking zombie to completely manic from the medicine focusing on that being the ONLY option and only thing that would help... I learned as a teenager and 3 in-patient rounds at DePaul how to perfect the dr. / patient relationship as it suited my needs... I would be switched back and forth on several types of anti-depressants (didn't work)... I would be told I was a manic depressive (later to be named bi-polar, seemingly to me the new diagnosis of choice by drs. - meds didn't work), suffered from panic and axiety disorders - and then came the fun of xanax! Yes! I am THAT let's keep that script filled please (being a highly addictive personality this was my favorite doctor...) then true to form I quit him when he wanted to try something else because it seemed the meds were hightening "manic stages" then a 2 year break until when once again I was aware... no, not aware - but just feeling my life was a complete mess and my self loathing and potential for self harm reared up again - I found a therapist who listened... who talked to me... and asked if I'd ever heard of Borderline Personality Disorder. She wanted to get rid of ALL my meds (what!) and start me in a group therapy - sited that due to my history (I had mostly been honest - mostly) she felt that I would be able to learn to manage and regulate my emotions through learning new ways to cope - as I learned to adapt to the BPD behaviour. I, of course, never went back. If something was wrong with me I didn't "learn" it - it has to be a chemical imbalance because no way I would be "crazy" if I could help it - and excuse me I'm not "borderline" anything...

So I somehow made myself truly believe it was all the "stupid drs." who were wrong - they just wanted money - repeating over and over: nothing is wrong with you, you are fine; you had an unstable childhood - who hasn't! You had a loving, co-dependent, alcoholic, inconsistent mother and a basically absent father... cry me a river... so you got thrown in a hospital because she didn't want to deal with you anymore... just because you drink and use drugs to feel good doesn't mean you are an addict or alcoholic, its just having fun... get over it; grow up...

So... 12 years later of complete denial, convincing myself I had a normal happy childhood, my exploits as a teenager into my early twenties were nothing more than a teenager rebelling and convincing myself I never abused any subtance I was just young having fun; and working on new and even stronger forms of my self image defense so I could be "normal" ... I pushed it all down and I learned how to play the part. In my mind though it was no part. I sincerely wanted to be the person I'd learned to portray to the outside world. Heck I portrayed it to myself. It was only when I would let someone in very close that I would start to unravel. And it was never me - of course not - I could blame every fault and problem in my entire life on anyone but me. (wow, the truth of that - that I have to admit it and the harm and, well abuse, I put those who I was suppose to love through still stings and feels way harsh - I still don't want to believe it; but it doesn't matter if I WANT to... it just is.)

An extremly verbally abusive (I could really sink in and dare I say almost enjoy being pushed around - I mean, heck didn't I deserve it?), a relationship turned marriage with a loving guy that I could "never live up to" ending after 6 years, a downward spiral and bottom hitting 6 months of desperate bar hopping looking for love and friendship, learning how to "adjust" to being alone (adjust would be a lie I think I hid under in order to enable the longest period to date of feeding and growing my identity crisis) until a night that... trust me it was enough to slap me into a realm of reality - at least somewhat - I started to come out of the haze and pull myself together. I am pretty good at pretending mostly to myself. So I prenteded none of it happened and moved on. For a while I was stronger; felt better...met a good man, fell in love, moving back to Louisiana and formed a circle of friends and began filling up all the voids.

Now I sit here with a very good life on the edge of destruction - by me and only me. Centered around a live-in relationship with the most honest, logical, rational person I've ever met - I have so much more that I have ever felt I deserve (I've never felt worthy of any good that has come to me) - and every day... I mean every day I can find a way to be unhappy. In the last couple of years it has grown completely out of control.

I have brought the healthiest relationship I could have formed to the breaking point instead... and I have spent the last 4 years blaming any emotional turmoil I have roller coastered through on him mostly - if HE would just DO THIS, if HE would jusy SAY THIS, if HE would just SHOW ME he LOVES ME - and when HE wasn't "causing" emotional turmoil for me... then it was my job/people at work's fault, my childhood, my family... and worst he has no traits of an enabler. I want him to coddle me or agree to understand and accept me for the way I am. There have been too many to count fights because I would refuse to accept any truth in his words ("accusations" is how I've seen them). He said to me once "Do you realize I never get mad at you; you always get mad at me first". Not possible I thought...

My denial and outrage of his opinions of me have spiralled to the point of despair. Every time he has said: I have an irrational way of thinking; I love drama so much I create drama if there is none; lash out at him like a whipping post; cannot accept critisicm of any kind without losing complete control; reinvent a situation to prove my ideas as right or true; not remembering true events of situations that happen when I act impulsively or lost complete emotional control; live out a fantasy in my head created by my "messed up" way of thinking; unable to rationally processing my thoughts and be responsible for the way I react; believe freaking out and throwing tantrums are acceptable behaviour... I blamed him every time. Sometimes I have sat the next day, calm, and admitted to a version of what he said or accepted the blame... but only because I was afraid I would lose him. And I did try - but I treated the symptoms instead of - well I will say it directly - the disorder. So eventually however long it was between feeling unloved and unwanted - it cycled back again.

Maybe it is the fear I will lose him, or that my "stable" life will crumble... but the reason doesn't matter... the blessing is that somehow the wall blocking my own self from the truth began to crumble. I thought back to what I could remember might be the beginning - I placed myself around 8 years old and I spent the day crying and depressed over all the events in my life... and realized that maybe every single thing he accused me of... was possibly true. It led me to remember that last therapists opinon... so wanting answers, not excuses, I looked up BPD.

I'm sure I am not the only one who felt "WOW it could have my picture and life story attached to it in a text book!" - as I read the symptoms and explanations - website after website - first looking for ways I could rule it out... I can no longer deny or walk away from this "THING" that I don't want to be. I realize, again, it doesn't matter what I want. It matters what is... and the awareness of all I've done - not what has been done to me - started to awaken.

That was just 2 days ago. I feel I am still in the acceptance stage - I am naturally fighting against change... but my rational thinking is batteling my instinct; what has become my natural way of thinking and reacting seems confusing - thinking about the fight Sunday night that drove the final ultimatum I honestly can't believe myself that a person would act that way over such a nonsensical, mild situation. I'm not feeling good... but I recognize it now.

Through my endless search - I think initially to prove it wrong - I came across this website. One thing I am sure I am not ready for and do not want is any face to face or group type of therapy. I am too good at hiding truths when faced with how others will view me and admitedly I worry I wouldn't be able to be open. But I do want to learn how to better cope with the situations that unravel my self esteem and emotions. SO I decide now to choose to give myself a chance at accepting that with the proper tools and support, which potentially could be this website, that I can change the way I process my feelings and thoughts. I accept I will not be able to overcome this alone, and so here I am - a new member as of an hour or so ago. My first thought is to say I hope this works... but that makes me stop and about recall the section that contains advice not to say words like hope - so I process what it is I want to get out of this, not hope to, and (breathe...) I want to learn how to help myself so that I can begin pulling the shades and faces I have created based on the given situation into one whole unit. I want to discover who I really am.

In closing, as of right now, I can say truthfully that I am no longer in denial. I have Borderline Personality Disorder. It is real. I am flawed. I am never going to be perfect. But I am trying to understand the difference between being my flaws and having them. I may still say I admit I don't feel that yet - not in my gut - but I know it to be true and that has to be a good first step to take.

It also feels good to just get it out - how much just typing this has allowed the truth to sink a little further in - and I am grately to have found a safe place to start - and I have delayed submitting this until I could believe the thought that whether or not anyone reads or responds to it I have taken a big step to start my journey.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: So, ok-I'm not "normal"
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:47 am 
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Hi Michelle! Welcome to BPDR. I hop you like it here. There are a lot of good people here!

I'm 37 so we've been on a similar journey. :) I relate SO MUCH to your story. I found out about BPD 10 years ago and then I found this board. (Yes, I've been around that long. lol) I did go through lots of therapy and lots of chemistry experiments until we found the right cocktail of meds. This board was a big part of finding a happy, healthy life. One of the things I LOVED (and still do) is that while this board is supportive, it doesn't coddle you. We'll call each other on what we see. You won't get support to continue to your unhealthy behavior. But you WILL get support if you are working on becoming healthier.

I hope you like it here! Again, welcome.

_________________
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. -- Goethe


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 Post subject: Re: So, ok-I'm not "normal"
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:25 am
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Thank u so much!! I want support. I would like understanding. I need to be called on anything that's unhealthy thinking or behavior cuz I may not have stood up and accepted it fully but I have been functioning - and sometimes not very well - with a very twisted thought process I had convinced myself was "just who I am". Its exhausting to remain concious of every single emotion and think about rationally processing to come up with best reaction vs. instinct and Im sure I won't realize Im reverting or relying on comfort of the chaos - would love positive enforcement without the condescension that's those who don't get it can't help but to express. I want real. Fully.

Biggest struggle right now is realizing I even covered up to myself. I mean it blows my mind we can do that! I covered to try and be who I knew I should be which of course was obsessively what I believed others wanted. But now Im actively working to chaage and be who I want to be. Ahhhhhh its like a deep breath being able to talk about it!!


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