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 Post subject: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:02 pm 
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Ok, breathe...

My husband and I married when I was pregnant with my daughter. I only say my daughter to open myself up enough to admit that she is not his biologically, although I do think of her as his. We were married for about 6 months when we separated. I was fighting many twisted thoughts of not being good enough, loved enough, worthy enough and made both of our lives a miserable nightmare. God graced us with a wonderful well adjusted and healthy baby girl. He loves her, there is no doubt, however I questioned how he loved me.

Now that we are separated, it confirms the fears that I have regarding his level of care for me. We sought out counseling, we met with a lay counselor first and then to a pychiatrist because my hubby thought that I needed meds. After meeting with us for less than half an hour she labeled me BPD. She did not take into account any issues that may have pointed to postpartum depression. I did not feel that her evaluation was thorough and therefore rejected her label as BPD, which my hubby in turn felt that I was not willing to seek help. Long story shortened, I do not seem to have the dramatic life history that I have been reading about on this, and other, sites; however I do have a very real problem, both now and in my history, in coping internally with the twisted thoughts of a poor self worth. In which, if I don't see but a few things that are worthy about me, then no one else will either and therefore I will be abandoned and alone...which is what has happened...therefore, I am seeking help to cope and deal.

I hope that it is OK for me to post here, and that I will be accepted to work through my issues with this site as a sounding board and resource....even if my current counselor does not feel that I meet the criteria for BPD. My hope is that labels aren't as important to qualify feedback for how to reverse the thinking that I have grown up to believe, that I am only worth something if others around me think that I am.

I grew up in a divorced home, in which my parents divorced before I was a year in age. My father was an alcoholic, emotionally abusive, and my mother resented me coming into their life too early, when they were not ready, and imposed her anger in force, physically and verbally abusive. I was molested, the first time by age 14 - in which no one believed me. I have grown up thinking little of myself and realize that there are many times that I have carried that and therefore been seductive in getting other's short term approval...whether it's to get praise for an academic accomplishment or for physical gratification. The reasons that I relate most to BPD is in a poor selfworth, however I need a clarification: does 'unstable selfworth' mean poor or fluctuating?

What are some postive replacements for the negative ones that I allow to rule over my emotions? To untwist the core beliefs of myself, it seems that I need to replace how I currently feel with positive ones; however this sounds easier than it is. What are some practical ways that can help me to believe myself when switching to a postive way to believe?


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:53 am 
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:welcome You're very welcome here whether you have BPD or not. In fact, my dx is depression and I've found the resources here very helpful for dealing with twisted thinking and other symptoms.

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What are some postive replacements for the negative ones that I allow to rule over my emotions? To untwist the core beliefs of myself, it seems that I need to replace how I currently feel with positive ones; however this sounds easier than it is. What are some practical ways that can help me to believe myself when switching to a postive way to believe?

What I find really helpful is to write down the evidence (facts only!) for and against my thoughts. A great book which describes this process in detail is Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky, but basically what I do is take a sheet of paper and divide it into four columns. In the first column I write down my thoughts, and I circle the most distressing one(s) and focus on these. In the second column, I write down any evidence which supports my thoughts. In the third column, I write down the evidence against my thoughts, and in the fourth column I try to come up with more balanced thoughts that more accurately reflect the evidence. These usually are more positive than the original thoughts, but the goal for me isn't "positive thinking", but just accurate and rational thinking.

I'd be happy to share some examples of this, or questions to ask yourself to help you find the evidence, if you'd like me to. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:10 am 
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I think that I understand; however if you would be willing to share some examples, that would be wonderful. In a clear mind, I can understand....but it is those times that seem overwhelmingly in a 'pit' that I find myself confused and seeming without direction...

Thank you for your encouragement and direction...


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:58 pm 
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No problem! Here's an example from one of mine when I was struggling with depression a couple of years ago:

Quote:
Thoughts
I'm a useless, weak, pathetic person who can't cope with ordinary life.

Evidence for my thoughts
I only managed about 2/3 of the work I should have done today.
I couldn't concentrate well and didn't notice several typos - I'm not sure I did a good job.
The house is a mess.
I haven't cleaned out the guinea pigs for 2-3 weeks.
The broadband company made a mistake with my bill months ago and I still haven't contacted them about it.
I feel like I can't cope and want to hide.

Evidence against my thoughts
Depression is an illness. It's recognised as a disability under UK law.
I did do some housework yesterday and at the weekend.
I give the guinea pigs a loving home.
I know many people with depression who deal with these problems and I don't think they're pathetic, weak or useless.
People in my support system are impressed by how much I'm getting done despite the depression.
Many people get behind on housework etc and I wouldn't say they're not coping with life.
I've been busy with work, Sirius [self-harm forum that I run] and driving lessons.
I can cope with work fine when I'm not depressed.
I'm under extra stress with the housework at the moment because of my partner's RSI.
I may not be on the best meds for me right now.
B says I come across as someone who makes every effort to deal with problems and work at it.
I've helped myself cope by being open with my employer about my depression.
I'm putting a lot of effort and energy into my recovery right now and have developed new ways to help myself.

Alternative/balanced thinking
I'm finding "ordinary" life quite hard to cope with right now, but this is understandable given I'm depressed. It's not a judgement on me as a person.
I'm not weak - I'm actually working very hard on recovery!

Hope that helps. :)

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Sirius Project - Self-Help for Self-Harm


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:36 pm 
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ok, so here's mine:

I am worthless and mean and a horrible person who doesn't deserve to have the love of my husband, or the love of our daughter.

I was pre-med, got knocked up, had to quit my job at the hospital b/c I was sick all the time, met my husband, feel in love, felt guilty for all the efforts that he gave up to help me and a child that wasn't his. He wanted to marry me, I loved him so we said I do. Due to the time, we had no formal purposal or imagined wedding. I questioned whether or not he really loved me b/c things weren't how I wanted them....then I dealt with postpartum depression and was brutal to him. Due to our lack of solid foundation he couldn't deal with the meanness and I didn't trust him that I needed help. We separated. B/c I have a low self esteem, I have continued to make our situation worse...because so much time has passed it's too late. I carry around not only the guilt of my own actions, being knocked up and allowing this situation, but also treating him so poorly. I yelled at him, argued with him, downgraded the love that he NOW says that he had for me (although he wouldn't tell me that then). I carry around the guilt that our daughter's father will never be back in her life b/c I behaved so poorly to a man who, at the time, deserved my love and respect. Everytime I see her I want to cry for feeling the guilt from taking him away from her. Everytime he came to see her I made his visit about he and I, and couldn't get beyond my hurt...I want(ed) to fix our problem and didn't understand why he wouldn't allow for me to do so....I continued to push and push and push. Now, I've just given up...but the hurt and failure is still there. I hate myself for hurting someone's heart as badly as I have done. I hate how his view of me is so negative, he's a good guy and didn't deserve the hatefulness that I treated him in. I am horrible...

So many days I just wish I had the strength to live without our daughter, then I would give him to her to show him how sorry I am...but I don't want to be without her either...I don't deserve either one of them.


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:48 pm 
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That's a lot to deal with, Lookup. The more you pile on, the worse things seem. Can you do what echoes did and pick one thought? List evidence for and against that thought? Come up with an alternate or balanced thought? Reading what you wrote, it sounds more like you're beating yourself up, and not looking for a way to balance your thinking. It's hard to make that shift, I know. Keep trying!

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


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Ha, you're right...I am beating myself up...b/c I feel as though I deserve it. I don't want to feel this way, but know no other way...how do I begin to forgive myself enough to be able to untwist?


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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:56 am 
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I think it takes a leap of faith, actually. Being kinder to yourself when you know you've screwed up can feel very scary and unnatural! But if you beat yourself up excessively, it only lowers your self-esteem, which means you're more likely to behave in ways that reduce your sense of self-worth further (you yourself mentioned low self-esteem as a cause of your behaviour). It's a vicious circle and acknowledging the positives can help you break that cycle.

Have you looked at the twisted thinking tools in the box on the left? They can be really helpful. I find it helps to imagine what a good friend would say to me, or what I'd say to a good friend in a similar situation.

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 Post subject: Re: New to BPD, this site, marriage, motherhood and untwisting
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:52 am 
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It is so helpful to read these posts, echoeslikehorses and lookup. I struggle with 'what is reality' in a relationship so often - my feelings come in like a tide and suck me under, and maybe a day or two later, after rage and feeling wronged have subsided, I try to look through and justify my reactions. I'll be specific: my bf is in a band, and i have jealousy issues surrounding that - he loves his music more than me, etc. There is a girl from his work who almost always goes to his shows, and any tiny bit of attention that he shows her I feel like is a knife in my back... even though he has endlessly reassured me that he doesn't have feelings for her... the last time she was at a show, and i was, I was exhausted after a long day at work and really just wanted to spend some cuddle time with the bf, but he was playing, so i thought i'd go support him and get to see him... after the set he (i can't even remember what) lit her cigarette, said hi, i don't know and i completely flew off the handle, got into my car with him running after me 'what's wrong?' in front of all his friends, stormed off. so embarrassing! i'm a grown-up for god's sake, a nurse, and a mom! what the f*&^k is wrong with me? i KNOW better, but in that emotional pull, i become a zombie.


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