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 Post subject: Hey all, just throwing this out into space...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:39 pm 
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All right, I don't know why, and I'm sure it's not appropriate and that it doesn't interest anybody (and I know those comments are defeatist and that I shouldn't say them, but that's how I feel), but I kind of just need to throw my life story and problems out into the wind and hope somebody can understand and at least acknowledge me without telling me that I have to change who I am and what I believe in order to be happy. I figured, since my most salient mental anomaly is my borderline disorder, that I could do it here. It's really freaking long, and I don't expect anybody to reply to something that is so self-centered, but I am feeling in the dumps and I just need to get it out of my system.

I've been unhappy and mentally impaired for as long as I can remember by a bunch of things that I can't seem to find a convenient label for. One thing that is certain, though, is that most of the descriptions I've read of Borderline are almost EXACTLY me, except for suicidal thoughts (I have wanted to die, but I have never considered it because it would be immoral for me to commit suicide) and self-harm; again, I have wanted to and almost done so, but I am also a hypochondriac and am terribly afraid it would get infected (in addition to being terribly afraid that I will suddenly suffer a massive heart attack, or that I have all sorts of cancer, or that I have a brain tumor, or that I have erectile dysfunction, or that my teeth are going to fall out, and several other lovely things) - and am also terribly afraid people would notice and call me out on it, because if people seem to care about you when you are committing self-harm, there is no way to know if they care about you, as a person, or if they just feel obliged to do something for a human being.

Most of the time I feel completely emotionally dead. There is a lot of mental clutter in my mind, a lot of random shit - memories of arguments or stupid comments by others, memories of embarassing situations, "fantasies" of rejection and suicide attempts, random things I have to remember, and generally things that stress me out in one way or another. I have begun to believe that the reason I torture myself with fantasies of being rejected by women, of harming myself or other things because it's the only way I can feel anything at all. My greatest fantasy is to have a complete, total mental breakdown in front of all my friends, because I'm under the false impression it would make them care - then I realise that they wouldn't care, they would just be afraid and feel obliged to do something about it, and it would have nothing to do with myself as a person.

There has never been anything in my life I have felt happy about, except my successes in school and work. My teachers tell me that I am brilliant, but I don't feel smart, because if I was I wouldn't have all these damned problems; I speak six languages, and I am currently learning Chinese, and I have the best competence in the class despite the fact that I study the language for about 30 minutes every week, when everybody else I know dedicates a full 2 hours a day to learning words and characters and can't seem to string a sentence together. This basically describes my whole academic career; I have never put an honest hour's work into anything, yet I always seem to be top of the class. I hate myself for it, because whenever people congradulate me I feel like a sham. Still, I am sort of happy about how easy it all is for me, or at least I know I ought to be, but the fact is I don't put any damned effort into it, and how can I be proud of something that just *happens*?

The only thing I've ever achieved through work are books; I write books, and it takes a lot of time and effort, and at the moment I've got 3 finished and one almost completely edited and ready to brave the publishing industry, and I am proud of that. These books - these three 300-kilobyte files on my harddrive, these packets of 140 pages of text - they are the ONLY things I have EVER achieved in my entire life through anything other than worthless talent and dumb luck. They are the only thing I have ever even considered patting myself on the back for. I have a very hard time working on things like projects or papers for university, but somehow I always get them done at the last minute and get excellent marks for them, which means that I have no work ethic - which means that I have a very, very hard time pulling through with projects that matter to me personally, but that aren't required by anybody. That's why I'm proud of my books - over the past three years I have worked, not always consistently, but enough to get something decent. I've proved that I can actually *do something*, if I put my mind to it. But my mind is a frail thing - I forget things so often, don't know where I've put things, don't notice the dust or the dirt or sometimes even the fact I haven't showered in a day or two.

I was not physically or sexually abused as a child, at least not within memory. My father jokes about the time my mother tried to throw my 6-month-old self down the stairs; my mother is bipolar, and wasn't on medicine when I was young. She then took medicine for about a decade, then stopped again, and since she stopped taking the meds her life has been better. I never asked why. Honestly, I don't feel much care or love or anything towards anybody in my family - not my mother, not my father (who is also a hypochondriac, and who occasionally had outbursts of severe rage - though I can count them on one hand), and not my little sister, who spent her childhood making fun of me. I moved out of the country when I was 17, and I have never missed anybody from my family, except my cats (I was surprised how much I missed our two cats - they are the only thing I missed about Canada).

I was both bullied and a bully in school; I remember it well. I grew up in Québec, but my mother is British, and as such my French proficiency was less than that of the other kids in school. They made fun of me because I was "English" (I don't consider myself as such), they made fun of me because I couldn't speak French properly (I only saw my francophone father on weekends, because he worked very long hours until I was about 10), and I couldn't answer back because my command of the language was poor, so I could never make a good comeback, or even properly tell them to leave me alone - so I beat them up, threw rocks at them and bit them, to try and get them to leave me alone, to stop making fun of me. It was the only thing that worked, sometimes. Hypocritical, yes, but when you're 7 you don't consider the hypocrisy of your actions.

When I went on to high school, for some reason I decided I would be a different person. It worked, and instead of a bully I became a social shut-in and shut-out. I became involved in a stormy and mutually psychologically abusive friendship with a girl in my class that lasted three years (there was no sexual component, though we both wanted one at varying times), before she started dating my then-best-friend and I ceased speaking to them, not exchanging a single word with either of them until graduation. I also had a sexual relationship with a single girl, though we were first just friends and then best friends, and there was never any romance - it was friendship with me masturbating her; this, you see, was when I discovered that for some reason or other I can't seem to successfully have penetrative sex. I have done so exactly twice in my life until now; every other time, the erection has disappeared when it comes time to actually have sex. Everything else works fine, from morning wood to masturbation and oral sex. This, of course, makes me feel like a failure and less of a man, but I can't get the thoughts and the worries and the memories out of my head, even though I know that thinking about it is a recipe for disaster.

Throughout high school I was plagued by fears of rejection by women, combined with a seething hatred for those of my peers who had made fun of me during primary school. I couldn't approach girls at all, I just couldn't - I just didn't know how, and when I tried, my mind just went blank. It doesn't help that I have very, very few interests in common with my peers. I don't like sports, don't watch television, nobody I have ever met knows even a tenth of the music I listen to, I don't and refuse to do drugs, I played computer games but not the kind anybody else played, I am neither a religious person or a leftist activist-type (those were the predominant sort of "involved" people when I was in high school). Further, I don't get along well with men - they are competetive and like putting others down, and the only ones I have ever got along with were ones who were either somehow mentally unstable (one of my better male friends was ADD and depressive, and the other was a chronic drug user). What I like to do is read, write, enjoy nature, take care of plants and animals, discuss things, listen to my music, and have sex or sexual encounters (without sex, since the soldier is usually AWOL when it comes down to it).

I moved to Germany when I was 17, hoping to start fresh, and I sort of did. For instance, I also developped an alcohol problem - by which I mean, when it's there, I will drink and drink to try and make my shitty life seem less shitty, and to try and make interacting with these people who are supposed to be my friends easier. For about two years I had a serious problem, whenever we went out or met up at somebody's house I would get piss drunk (though I never got hangovers or threw up), often wasting a lot of money in the process. Sometimes I would get "depression attacks," which is what I like to call those moments where I sort of give up and fall on the ground moaning and "dry crying" and try to curl up into a ball, but my friends always assumed I was just really drunk - even on those occasions when I had only had two or three glasses of wine. Starting in the third year, though, I told myself I would stop, and now I never drink more than a single glass or serving in an evening, and I try not to drink anything at all, if possible. I also never buy alcohol, unless as a gift for somebody else.

I have come a long way in fighting my social phobia, too, and I can get up the courage to talk to women without much trouble - but I still have that annoying little problem where my mind goes totally blank, and I just have nothing to say. Those cases where this doesn't happen are rare. Yet I seem to have a phobia of getting involved with women; no matter what happens, when there is a woman I am interested in, there always seems to be two or three of them, and I find myself chasing two rabbits and catching neither, as the saying goes. At first I thought this was just bad luck, but I am starting to wonder whether I am not actively making it impossible for myself to start a relationship, because of fear. Most of the time these attempts start off with me and the woman smiling and talking and getting along well, and I feel good about my apparent success; then they start to behave coldly towards me, or uninterested, and I become confused and hurt, and either break off the attempt or I push on, and continue to hit up against disinterest - or at least appear to. I am no longer certain whether I should trust my judgement on this area.

At the moment there is a lovely woman in my Chinese courses who, at first, seemed very interested and receptive and even actively made steps that I would consider advances, inviting me over for dinner with friends or waiting after class to talk specifically to me, and I thought it was going well. But recently I am afraid that she is not interested, because she no longer has this initiative, and because when I take initiative the result is often awkwardness (sometimes she is still receptive, but it seems random and I conclude I have lost her). There is another woman, a few years older than me, who is very kind and sweet and with whom I have no trouble talking at all, and yet I tell myself I can't pursue a relationship because she is three years older than me and doesn't know it, because she might be leaving the city next september, and all sorts of other shabby reasons. I have come to believe that I am actively, subconsciously keeping myself away from relationships, but I don't know why and I don't know how to get around it. I am terribly lonely, and I am prone to short depressions (by short, I mean like 1-3 hours) when I meet attractive young woman, because I am not the guy they love and I probably never will be.

I have tried talking to friends about my insecurities vis-à-vis women, and they just sort of brush it off, repeating common-sense wisdom or pointless stuff that doesn't help me, and they don't seem to understand that it matters to me. I find that a lot of people consider relationships to be a sort of side project in life, but a healthy sexual and romantic relationship is the one consistent goal I have had throughout my whole life, the one thing I feel I have never come close to achieving, and the main reason I get depressions. In fact, I don't remember ever being depressed because of anything other than romantic rejection or sexual frustration or loneliness. I KNOW I am supposed to love myself for who I am, and all that stuff, but frankly life is boring and lonely without somebody to share it with. I have hard two sort-of, failed relationships that have nevertheless been the only dim lights in what is otherwise the sea of darkness and shadow of my life.

I have few close friends, and I tend to lose contact with people who I don't meet in my daily life; people in other cities or countries basically don't exist in my mind, and I tend to lose contact with them unless they make an active effort. My best friend is my ex-sort-of-girlfriend, whom I recently insulted by accident (which is why I am in the dumps) and whom I feel I have been mistreating; the relationship ended a while ago, but we have been close long-distance friends since then. I had come to think of her as a best friend, somebody I could talk to about anything at all, somebody who could know my innermost thoughts and feelings and just accept me for who I was, somebody who could listen to me without judging, somebody with whom I could share things, somebody who could teach me about things I didn't know and enrich my life. So I treated her that way, and some of my innermost thoughts and feelings (concerning sexuality) were things she didn't appreciate at all, even though they had nothing to do with her, and I find myself feeling hurt and ashamed, partly because of those very thoughts and feelings which she disapproves of, partly because I made the mistake of trusting her so freely, and partly because I just don't understand. I don't have any other friends I would call "close" at the moment, and very few friends I would even call "good." I get along very well with people on a superficial level, but building deeper relationships has always been something that just never seemed to happen.

I have always been reluctant to seek out professional help, partly because of the cost, but partly because I fear that people will try to change me, to dumb me down, to make me somebody else. I don't want people to tell me that, to be happy, I have to give up my dreams of finding a relationship and just "let things happen." I don't want people to do things to my mind that will kill my creativity, that will make me stupid, that will change the things I believe and the things I value and the desires I have. I don't want people to tell me that I want the wrong things, or that I am making a big deal out of nothing, or that I ought to concentrate on the happy things in life - there are no happy things, besides my books, which are a struggle in and of themselves. It is a big deal - I have wasted my youth, and I'll never get it back, and I don't want to waste the rest. I don't want the wrong things - what I want is a part of who I am, and I know I can get these things, somehow.

I sometimes have to force myself to keep walking through the halls at university, when I want nothing more than to fall on my knees and cry, or throw my things against the wall and scream. I sometimes spend a full minute with a bottle of wine poised over a glass until I manage to convince myself to put the bottle down and pour orange juice in the glass; sometimes it doesn't work, and I do drink the wine. I have to remind myself every hour of every day that this woman does not hate me just because she didn't wait up to speak to me; that I am not worthless just because this attractive woman has a boyfriend and I have nobody; that I will never get anything if I don't at least try. I have to tell myself that I need to speak to people, even if know my mind always goes blank and I have nothing to say. I occasionally have to remind myself that there is no way I am taking up smoking just because everybody else does it. I am sometimes afraid I will jump out of windows, and I try to avoid renting rooms that are higher than two stories up. I sometimes have to throw down knives that are hovering a little too close to my arm.

Most of all, I have to keep telling myself, ever minute of every day, that the only way for things to get better is for me to stay alive and keep trying. Insofar as my personal self goes, things have slowly gotten better. But when it comes to other people, I am no further along than I was ten years ago; I am single, lonely, and I am afraid that, should I suddenly die at home, the only reason anybody will notice is that I will at some point begin to smell bad. I have nobody to care for, and nobody cares for me. If I could at least have a pet, I would feel better, but the landlord won't have it, and I fear I'm not responsible enough for an animal. All I want is somebody to understand, somebody to hold me, somebody I can love and look after when she's sick, somebody I can play with and enjoy my time with, somebody I can make love to, somebody I can cook for, somebody I can trust, somebody I can smile at, somebody I don't need to lie to. And I have nobody, and I have never had anybody, and I know it's because I'm making it all more difficult for myself than it needs to be, but I don't know how and I don't know why, and I don't know what to do. I'm so afraid that I will be alone forever, that my whole life will have been a waste. I don't want to face my own judgement when I die. And I am so, so angry at myself for letting this all happen, for ruining everything, and for not knowing how to overcome it all and get what I want in life.

I don't know if that's what it's like to be borderline. Maybe it's not; maybe it's something else entirely. Maybe I really am just a run-of-the-mill depressive freak who will eventually get put on pills and live as a feelingless blob, like the guy in Garden State at the start of the film. Whatever it is I have, I want to fight it, and I want to achieve *my* goals in life, and I don't want anybody telling me how to feel and how to think and how to live. All I want is to understand how I can overcome my problems in a way that lets me make my life into what I want it to be. I don't know how to do that. That's why I'm here, I guess. I'll browse around and see if I can find something that helps me. I hope I find something; if I don't, though, I'm used to it by now.

Cheers, and have a nice day,

 Post subject: Re: Hey all, just throwing this out into space...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Posts: 1465
Hi Garric, and welcome to BPDR!

I just wanted to respond to you post and let you that I am listening.

I also feel the need to point out that as far as recovery goes........nothing I have learned has changed who I am. I am not a different person with different goals now that I have some level of recovery. Just.....life is easier now. I don't get depressed anymore-- but I'm still me. I do think recovery required looking at things from a different perspective, but more than that it was (for me at least) a process of learning to be the best 'me' that I could be.

I hope you find some tools around here that will help you. I know for me, this site and these people here have really helped me go from full-on BPD behavior to being somewhat 'normal' and definitely (finally) living a happy, healthy life.

I look forward to further 'talking' with you. :biggrin

Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra

 Post subject: Re: Hey all, just throwing this out into space...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:51 am 
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Hi Garric,

You say:

I don't want anybody telling me how to feel and how to think and how to live

And yet at the same time you want to understand how to overcome your problems in a way that lets you make your life into what you want it to be BUT you don't know how to do that.

In my experience, many of the 'problems' that I and others that I know have had in life have been as a result of doing and thinking the same things, in the same ways, over and over and over again. Many of the most significant changes that I have made in my life have come when I have opened myself up to the possibility that other people just might have a better way of doing things that could work for me.

This has been most noticeable for me in the arena of my relationships with women, where I did a shed load of research and tried out a few new behaviours and approaches that led to my going from a position of being terrified to talk to a woman in a social setting (if there was any potential for intimacy, or they were just plain attractive) to thoroughly enjoying spending time with women - and they with me.

Give me a shout if you want to talk about it.

Best wishes


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