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 Post subject: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:43 pm 
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I am struggling big time. About two weeks ago my husband, mental health provider and I determined that I am borderline. I accept that 100% and willing to do the work that it is going to take to live a healthy life. I've been reading and looking over the BPDR site, I have also printed off the tools and placed them in a three ring binder so I can refer back to them when needed vs. getting on the computer. I have placed them in a binder with my CBT and DBT information that I have printed off the computer as well.
When I first found out about the borderline it came as a big relief because now there was something substantial and not just guessing so I was feeling pretty good. I was opening up more to my husband and feeling pretty good about it. Over the last four years I have viewed him as the enemy and taken all of my "issues" and poor behavior out on him, I am abusing him. About four days ago the talking stopped, there was some but nothing substantial about my thoughts and recovery, I began dwelling on things that are out of my control. When he did finally confront me about the lack of conversation I totally reverted back to old behaviors: becoming defensive, all or nothing thinking, being unrealistic, very black and white, plus I hurt myself. I pinch the thin sensitive skin under the top of my arm until it bruises. I do this while we are arguing. Well, he's usually the one expressing his emotions I just sit there and break down. This went on all day long. I have a very hard time coming up with new thoughts when I am "zoned" out and just thinking EVERYTHING is ending. I know that I am hurting him and my children by not being well. I know that I can do this but I feel so bad right now that I am never going to be able to get back to that place where I was a week ago. I am so scared because my family depends on my recovery and so do I. When I'm in my rational mind things are good and I can process what's going on but during that moment I "forget" everything I know. I have been teaching CBT to youth for many years but I guess you can't make yourself use it :-)
I was looking over the twisted thinking and was able to process many things that I did wrong in the situation and how I can make a better out come the next time. I guess I just needed someone to hear me. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:34 am 
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Quote:
About four days ago the talking stopped, there was some but nothing substantial about my thoughts and recovery, I began dwelling on things that are out of my control. When he did finally confront me about the lack of conversation I totally reverted back to old behaviors: becoming defensive, all or nothing thinking, being unrealistic, very black and white, plus I hurt myself.

Were you able to identify what happened four days ago that set this off? It sounds like a brief depressive episode. Happens to me too. :(
Is your husband in therapy with you? Perhaps he can benefit from learning ways to effectively communicate with you so that you don't see it as a "confrontation" and revert to destructive behaviors?


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:13 am 
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Chai~
I'm sure that it was a depressive episode. I started dwelling on my job because I am currently on administrative leave due to boundary and unprofessional behavior. All at the same time that I find out about the BPD and I'm worrying about both. Right now I care more about my recovery than my job because I want to stop the suffering that is happening in my house but I'm the only one with a job because my husband is a stay at home. It's all so crazy.
When my husband "confronted" me he was very calm and mellow and did it in a funny way but it was my reaction that sent it where it went. I first became defensive and told him I was going to talk with him, which is something that I always say when he asks me about why I'm not talking. Not only am I suffering he is as well. I have been very abusive/ borderline the last four years and he is not only needing to recover from the abuse but be a support to me so when I become defensive and zone out it hurts him as well. He feels like there is no hope for me and our relationship because I keep repeating the same behaviors. I feel this as well. I was so anxious last night thinking about loosing him and my kids that I almost had a panic attack, I couldn't think at all. I had to take a Xanax, which I really don't like taking. The major ones that are most important right now that I need to fix NOW is my attitude, I need to talk and not becoming defensive when confronted.
I read about how many people do inpatient treatment, groups, concealing and therapy but we do not have the money for that. I'm trying to come up with ideas that are inexpensive but very helpful to my recovery. I feel the information on this site is very helpful so that's a start. Do you or anyone else have any ideas or wisdom that will help:-)
Thank you for your response, it has helped me dig deeper into the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Wow, Jill, that is a lot to deal with! I am sure that many of the people on this board will say that they relate to what you are feeling. I, definitely, relate to your borderline behaviors ruining your relationship. The good thing, as I see it, is that you do have a husband and kids there to support you and also be your motivation. I also post to a sobriety forum and many of the women there talk about how their kids are their motivation to stay sober. They don't want their kids to grow up with "drunk Mommy." Do you think saving your marriage and giving your kids a good, mentally healthy role model could be your motivating factors?
It is good that you are identifying the problems and areas you need to work on, but it is a lot, and you can't do it all at once. The only advice I have is to arm yourself with knowledge - read up on BPD and dialectical and cognitive behavior therapies. The more you know, the more you will be able to identify what you are doing "wrong" and learn ways to "fix" it. Yeah, I know - that is way easier said than done. I have been posting to this site for over two years now, trying to learn how to manage my BPD. But I think if you set goals for yourself, things will start falling into place. You could start with "effective communication." When you are feeling down or overwhelmed like you were four days ago, can you think of a good way to communicate your feelings to your husband and just tell him that your silence is just your way of taking some "personal time"? Does that make any sense? Sorry but I am on my way out the door so I am kind of rushing through this post but I wanted to write you a quick reply so you didn't have to wait all day to hear from me!
Be back later!!
Chai


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Jill,

It's a lot to deal with for sure. Remember that not every day is going to be a great example of BPD recovery. Its a process, and the good days still count on the not so good days. You are certainly going in a great direction!

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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:44 am 
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Hi Jill,

Hope you're ok :)

I second KTKaboom, and Chai.

My input FWIW: getting to the point of starting to understand yourself and what makes you tick can be a great relief. However, in me and my partner's case, we are both impatient people, and on diagnosis expected that knowledge and understanding would equate to a cure - sadly we found that this was not the case!

I think that there is a lot that can be done without expensive interventions but that requires a lot of hard work, dedication and a willingness NOT to give yourself (or your partner!) too hard a time when you take those steps backwords! A sense of humour helps too.

When you go into a downer, fighting it will only make it worse. Try leaving it alone for a bit, and when you are feeling better use it as an opportunity to reflect and learn about your triggers (with your partner if he is prepared to).

Best wishes

P.


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:36 am 
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Chai,KTKaboom and P,

I thank you greatly for your helpful words. I am feeling better today (starting last night) but it's still very hard and I only pray that things will go well this morning.

P, I totally get what you're saying about when you get into a downer that fighting it only makes it worse. I'm pretty sure that's what happened this time. My husband is hurting so bad as well and only wants things to get better so he was pretty upset when I started another cycle. I was trying so hard to break out but that just made it that much harder. I really felt like I was going to spin out of control.

I leave him to go be alone in silence only to stress that I don't know what to say when I get back to him. I say the same things to him all the time about getting better and really trying only for him to get upset because I've said that this stuff before. I wish he could just get inside my head and body during those times. I love him and my children so much and they are great motivates but I feel like I'm going to loose them before I get control of the BPD. My husband can be a wonderful support but because I have abused him for so long there are a few things that he just will not tolerate. My attitude, not talking to him and being defensive when he confronts me for not talk to him. I just wish he'd believe me when I said I was trying very hard but I can see how he would think that when I've been in a place of selfishness, not caring about his feeling and very borderline behavior for 4 years now. Now that we know what the problem is and that I do know a lot of tools around CBT/ DBT I should be able to fight it better.

I'm just rambling but I thank you guys very much for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:16 am 
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You're welcome, Jill, and good luck! In my mind - at least at this moment hahaha - a lot of "borderline behaviors" can be overcome/corrected by learning better communication and coping skills. Hopefully that is what CBT/DBT and the tools here will help you with! :)
I know that when I was in a relationship and my BF complained about my crazy behaviors, they were really the result of my not being able to deal with stress in my life. For example, if something at work was bothering me, I might take it out on him. If he did something that I had a problem with, I did not effectively communicate to him that I had a problem with what he did - I just lashed out at him for doing it. So I am here to learn how to better manage my problems and communicate with others in healthier ways.
Chai


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:32 am 
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Jill,

no probs. Glad things are looking up a bit :)

I think this point that you make is pretty interesting

Quote:
I say the same things to him all the time about getting better and really trying only for him to get upset because I've said that this stuff before. I wish he could just get inside my head and body during those times.


You've both only just started on a path, recovery and improvement do happen - you've seen it yourself - but 'cures' don't happen overnight. I get a sense that your partner may be expecting a miracle cure, just like I did. It is likely that there will be bad days, both of you need to accept this but it might help if, when you are in a good place and ready to talk, you were able to talk to him about what happens during the bad times and reassure him that the words (or lack of words!) aren't personal attacks - they are symptoms.

Oh and one other thing - at this early stage, having just received a diagnosis, it is very easy to get caught up in the world of BPD - you do have non-BPD moments (probably more than you realise) - and your relationship should be about just that - the relationship. Sure you may both need to learn a few new coping mechanisms, set some boundaries, do things in a different way and perhaps not get so upset about those things that seem personal but are not, but doing these things will only make the relationship stronger.

Best wishes

P.


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:00 pm 
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It can be very hard to learn new thought patterns and beliefs to replace the old unhealthy ones. i spent a lot of years in my BPD mindset and there's just no snapping out of it overnight...

I would strongly suggest that you and your husband look into counseling - individually, at least. I KNOW that cost can seem prohibitive, but think about the other "costs" involved. Some areas have public mental health programs that work on a sliding scale that you may qualify for. I don't know what (if any) MH benefit you may have through your employer. It may be worth contacting local therapists to see if any of them offer sliding scale treatments.

This stuff takes time. I KNOW that's hard when you hear the same old fear and anger and hurt come out of your mouth...But the only way past is through. A diagnosis is a good starting place, but it's only the beginning of the journey.

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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:31 am 
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Hi Jill,

I have been there - not being able to afford therapy. I agree with Minx that if there's any way you can pay for it, it's well worth it. You might have tried this already, but check whether there are any services in your area that offer a sliding scale for people on low incomes, etc.

However, if you really can't afford it, this board is a great place to start! Do check out the tools on the right and ask for other members' help in using them.

There's also a free online DBT class, run by another BPD website, here:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dbtclass/
I find the DBT skills complement the BPDR ones really well.

And there are a few BPD self-help books out there. Obviously there's Ash's book (Putting the Pieces Together, also on the right), but another one I really like is The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, and I've heard good things about The Angry Heart by Joseph Santoro. If you decide to work through one of those, I really recommend finding a buddy who's doing the same thing, then you can help keep each other motivated. :)

I hope that helps. Try not to get overwhelmed, and just take it one step at a time...

Lirael

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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:21 pm 
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So it took me a week to get out of this cycle, I didn't talk to my husband for like three days because my mind could not focus on anything of importance and I was just saying the same things over and over again. But, today feels good right now:-) I got on line and registered for the yahoo DBT class and feel pretty good about it. I had some anxiety at first because they sent me 14 emails in about 2 minutes of the do's and don'ts, how to post, what not to post, etc... It took me two days just to get through it with out giving up and saying that I was sorry but I was not committed at this time because that was my first reaction. I am proud to say that I did my first session on distress tolerance (half smile session 9) and I utilized it several times last night and woke up this morning practicing the half smile. Thank you guys for the encouragement!!


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 Post subject: Re: I am struggling big time
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:00 pm 
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:hobbes

Cool! Glad you're feeling better. The journey of a thousand miles and all that jazz :)

Best wishes

P.

:calvin


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