borderline personality disorder · bpd · dating · sex and love addiction

The 5-Star hotel and sex life

I’ve been super productive today, like clearing out old clothes, cleaning make up brushes and removing old products kinda productive. I’m also now starting to feel drained and coming down from the high I’ve been on all day. I’m feeling a little lonely and I know I’m on shaky ground because of the thoughts that have spinning in my head since yesterday.

I got on the road for the first time today, woohoo! but because of car payments I have to push therapy to a further 3 weeks away which sucks because I know I really needed to talk about my family on Monday. Oh well, responsibilities are responsibilities. That’s kind of why I’m posting so much on here, to check in with myself, and make sure what’s spinning around in my head gets put down. Hopefully that will slow down the impulsive urges I have at the moment.

I’m happy and feeling really confident in myself in one way because I’m managing my life pretty independantly and staying kinda healthy despite the fact that there are huge life stressors at home. There’s an issue/fight/tears nearly every day at home (ironically not with me), so home does not feel like a sanctuary at all.

I had already decided in the week I was going to book a hotel close to work this weekend just to get away. I just need to be on my own in a safe space, get some self care, a decent’s nights sleep and not have to feel responsible and like I have to always intervene in all the drama. It just so turns out that my mind starts flitting to whether ex-love will be in the same city as me, whether I could ask him to hang out with me. Will he be getting a hotel when he’s here?

I try to resist the urge to call him last night, I know it’s not good for me, so I don’t. The thing is, through recovery I’m self-aware enough to know what is and isn’t healthy but that doesn’t stop the fact that the thoughts still come. In a way, it makes it harder because now I know it’s not a good idea but my brain is on a loop.

Today I kept thinking that even though I innocently say we’d just hang and I know he’d let me stay with him, I know my impulsive nature and that I wouldn’t say to no anything sexual happening. I think back to when it did happen, I think about how I still want it to happen. All while I go about my day, taking care of myself, my body, my family. I sort out my insurance, I help my mum with chores. But my mind is running, is he here? Will I go?

He hasn’t led me on at all, or given me any inkling that this could happen, no it’s not him. This is entirely me and how my brain works. My uni days make even more sense now, I would always get the 5-star hotels with my ex and ‘get away’ every weekend or day at times, cost me a lot, but back then, I didn’t care.

There’s the thrilling aspect of it, the glamour of the hotel, the fun of having as much sex as you want and for some reason it’s always so much more carefree than anywhere else. Perhaps this makes me sound sleazy but I love love those times. I miss being told I’m gorgeous in whatever lingerie it is (wow this is getting full disclosure) being held and cuddled in the soft satiny sheets, being in a beautiful space and then there’s the beautiful showers and shower sex obviously. The main reason, which was the reason I wanted to go on my own this weekend- is the escape from life, from home. Back then, home was even worse so I did what I could to get away, as I couldn’t afford moving out properly.

So my brain has put – safe, caring person, my desire to escape, the fact that he will always hold a space in my heart all together and combined it into the perfect recipe to ask him to escape with me. All the while the healthy part of me trying to put a reign on my thoughts, don’t call, don’t text, don’t book anywhere, focus, focus, focus. This is also while I had a date planned for today which I obviously feel so little about I rearranged it to tomorrow, I don’t even know the time.

I did cave and text him asking him if he’s in the city. It’s just my luck that he’s not. I haven’t pushed it further. I’m not going to call him tomorrow, I’m not going to follow up at all. I can’t, I know he’s OK. I’ve already reached out, anymore reaching out is just in my own interest and feeding my obsession and losing my own self-respect. I’m glad I got this out, feel like I’ve purged the worst of it, for how long though, I don’t know.

 

 

 

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borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · Uncategorized

My favourite person – BPD and FP

This is another strange phenomenon of BPD that I didn’t know I had or was a ‘thing’ until The Mighty site contributors brought it to light for me and I realised, this really is a thing. I’m really so grateful for the people out there sharing their stories and experiences when it comes to mental health, it makes me feel a little less alien, and a lot more understood.

FP’s (favourite person aka the person the BPD individual is the most attached to) – I’ve usually always had one. They’re usually always my romantic partners, that is, until they haven’t been. I realise now, quite painfully that ex-love is my current FP – which is weird because we haven’t really spoken much the past year at all. But, there is an emotional bond one has with their FP that cannot be easily broken by time or circumstance. That, and I haven’t fallen in love since then. 

I do feel like in a weird way, it might be a good thing that someone who cannot be my lover is my FP, then when I do get romantically involved with someone (the logic is anyway) that they cannot be said FP as the spots already been filled. I haven’t really experienced having more than 1 at any given time because you only have emotional space for that one person. They consume you in a way no one else can, ”favourite” is putting it mildly, heart filling, obsessive, powerful, those are the words that really come to mind.

When things are going well with FP, the sun is shining, all is right in your world, you could be no happier. When things are not going so well, it’s like you’ve been floored, your whole world is collapsing, hours can pass in tears. That’s what my marriage was like, that is what I truly am afraid of happening again.

To  love and to be loved is a beautiful thing, but to give complete control and hand over the keys to your sanity to another person who is probably only just managing their own, is playing with fire. You are at their mercy. If you must have an FP please choose wisely.

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd

The danger with being happy

In a way, I can kind of understand now why Bipolar disorder and Borderline personality disorder can get confused and also, occur together, the highs and lows and the intensity of said highs and lows are a serious minefield. But it wasn’t until last year that I realised even happiness, or the ‘high’s’ were a time I had to be vigilant and pay attention to what was going on with me mentally and externally (in my behaviours).

Thanks for that, my dearest psych. I’m only being partly sarcastic there.

It’s kind of embarassing for me to talk about this (I know right, I actually have the potential to be embarassed after all that I have shared on this blog, in all it’s glory…) but if I don’t word vomit this out I’m sure I’m going to mentally explode and I dread that a lot more.

I have become ridicolously ONE TRACK minded. Like, it’s almost laughable. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not looking for someone, and this was the real reason why I had been looking so hard for someone, or if it’s because, well–my theory anyway – that I’m happy. I don’t even know if this is how people usually think and I’ve just been so pre-occupied that I’m only now returning to ‘normal?’

For the majority of 2017 I now realise looking back, I was struggling with depression, but because I didn’t know enough about the different kinds of depression, I didn’t see it for what it was – I wasn’t crying, I was going to work, going out, so I figured I didn’t have it, but I did. While I was still looking for love, my libido was next to nothing and really, I didn’t mind not having sex, at all.

Well, that has changed. Things are good for me lately, I don’t dread Sunday evenings anymore because I don’t have the bouts of depression and I can’t remember the last time I had a ‘low’ – the ones lasting a couple of hours and hit me outta nowhere for no explicable reason. 

I’m happy, but this happiness has brought along a new struggle. I’m fighting the urges to jump onto the next hot guy I see, well mentally anyway.

Let me set the record straight for all my talking about sex and love and how I have to deal with issues in both areas in therapy – I haven’t actually had sex in coming up to 3 years.

3 Damn years.

The longest stint of my adult life. It’s not that no-one has wanted to, it’s not that I haven’t been in love and close to, it’s not that I couldn’t call someone and get some right now. I want to hold out for something deep and meaningful (Oh I just realised the choice of wording there – see? see what I mean?)

I haven’t struggled with this in recovery. I first thought it could be part of the ‘impulsive’ behaviour that comes with BPD and that sex was my vice of choice, but they explain the impulsivity as trying to fill up emptiness, or a void. But I don’t feel a void, I don’t feel empty, I feel OK. I feel fine, I’m busy, I’m doing everything I need to and want to do for myself, I’m trying my best to make healthy choices for myself and my future.

But this is really getting in the way. I had a semi-large meeting this week, (the kind that’s important enough so you have to actually listen to what’s being said). All I could think about was which members of the meeting I totally would and then preceeded to eyeball them and notice when they were doing the same. Sigh. It’s affecting me, badly.

cat me

Does anyone have any idea how I handle this? Don’t tell me to sleep with someone that’s NOT the answer I’m looking for here.

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health

I’m no longer ‘diagnosable’ – aka the recovery stage.

I dropped the big ‘R’ today. Recovery. So far I have only read one account where the psychologist declared the lady as no longer having BPD. I’m not saying nobody else has recovered, what I mean is she was considered recovered from the therapists standpoint (and I’m sure there are many others who have experienced this too).

I plucked up the courage today to ask him what he thought about my current situation and whether he thinks I meet the criteria still. He reframed the whole concept of BPD so that I could understand the core of BPD (which I kind of already knew but it helped) and if that ‘core’ issue is under control/changed then pretty much a person could consider themselves in recovery/recovered.

At the core of BPD is emotion dysregulation that is where the ‘disorder’ part of BPD comes in. You’re experiencing emotions at an intense level and the individual almost ‘becomes’ the emotion. We looked at anger and how in the past when I would get angry, I would just react. There was no space, no option, and no thought process behind my emotion and the following action – it was like a reflex. The intense emotions and all of the various actions that come as a result of the emotions creates chaos in your life and that is why you cannot function, carry out long-term goals, hold down jobs/relationships etc etc.

Now I can be angry, experience anger and decide what to do with it. Do I want to wait? Do I need to talk about it there and then and if so, how? Do I need to take a couple of deep breaths and forget about it altogether? All of these come to mind in the moment – I never had this choice before.

Even with sadness, this is something I have been working on since summer of last year. Even a few weeks ago, I experienced sadness in such a way that it’s almost as if I ‘become’ sadness. There are no emotions before it, no emotions after it. I cannot summon the joy of previous experiences and I cannot remember that it will pass even though logically I know I have been happy in the past and that this will fade.

I have to coach myself that I am not sadness, I am just feeling sadness. That it will pass, and I try to bring myself out of it using various strategies, which do work a lot better than impulsivity, obviously.

Once this is under control your life changes, you can function, you can experience emotions without having them destroy your life. The main thing is – you can function, it’s no longer dysregulating you.

I’ve given enough examples over the past few months for him to agree that that is the case for me. It feels nice but also strange to be able to let the diagnosis down to rest. The past 2 years I have been working dilligently to reach this moment and yet, there is still so much to cover.

 

*Trigger warning*

 

I opened up to him about what happened to me in 2015 and we agreed it was truly rape. It’s obvious I still have a lot of cobwebs in my closet when it comes to my sexual history. That deflated my victory moment a little, but the show must go on, the diagnosis was just a framework. I will always have traits and vulnerabilities, such as my past trauma experiences, my natural physiological reactions to things. As I’m literally programmed to experience emotions at a more intense level and to take longer to return to baseline I still have to manage that daily. It takes work, and I know I’ll only remain in the recovered zone if I continue to manage it but I am adamant to do just that.

 

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · online dbt

The 24 hour rule. Surfing impulses.

I found this tip in ‘borderline personality disorder for dummies’. I think it’s one of the few things that stuck with me and it has saved my behind many a time. So in honour of 50 followers (thank you!) I would like to share with you all.

Impulsivity is something those with BPD or BPD traits are all too familiar with, but it can take a hold of well, anyone really. Ever had a time you sent that text to your ex? Yep. Been there. Ever said something really nasty to a loved one and then immediately regretted it? Yep? Been there. This little trick has helped me in my recovery journey and *surprise* stopped me mid-text and boy, I’m glad it did.

Quite simply: you wait 24 hours before hitting send/before voicing an opinion on something/before deciding you want to buy that £1000 pair of shoes and so on, and so forth *insert impulsive vices here*.

Why it works: For me, it works because I’m not telling myself I’m not going to do it at all. The whole struggle with impulsivity is that you want to do that thing, that oh so bad but feels oh so good in the moment, thing. So it’s not removing the possibility completely. If I want to send an angry text but I’m not 100% sure whether I will regret this as soon as I hit send, I tell myself I will give it 24 hours and then if I’m still feeling the same way, I will go ahead and do the damn thing. In 24 hours I’ll know by then:

a) That it wasn’t a brief spell of heightened emotion and I must genuinely be feeling that way.

b) It’s not impulsive, it’s more calculated, so it’s coming from a part of me that must really feel like I need to do this for myself.

c) I have more time to be a little detached so I can rephrase/change my actions to fit the situation a little better.

So far, I haven’t ever pressed send, or made that call, or felt the same way 24 hours later so it’s only served as proof that I really did need to give it time and my emotions did simmer down. Other times, within 24 hours the situation has totally sorted itself out, either by the people in question just saying something that’s helped or some other course of events.

The only thing you have to lose really is that you had to wait a day to be impulsive – not much of a loss considering all the other consequences that can happen.

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · dbt · mental health · Uncategorized

Book review: Stronger than BPD – Debbie Corso

Okay so I don’t really think I am much of a book reviewer but I just wanted to share what I felt as I was hesitant about buying this book at first. I’ve been on the DBT Path courses a couple of years ago and got to email Debbie directly. Debbie Corso, is a prominent figure in the BPD recovery community mainly because she shares so much about her own recovery and helps others in their journey too. If you can’t get BPD in your area I would definetly recommend her online DBT path course. Unfortunately, back at the time I chose to do the course I was in a tricky living situation, so I had too much going on for me to really be able to implement what I was learning. But the course itself was informative and mimics very well the actual face to face group setting as much as it can on an online platform.

The reason I was hesitant to buy this book was because I have read quite a lot of BPD recovery stories online on blogs, vlogs etc. and also books. I’ve also studied BPD quite extensively now and don’t feel there is much more to learn about the nature of the disorder (so I say). I didn’t want to read basic information and a few techniques that I may already know about.

This book was well worth the money! and it wasn’t much at all for the kindle version. Debbie doesn’t go too much into explaining the criteria etc. she jumps straight into how to implement DBT but gives examples of how and when she used it in her own personal life, and in some pretty tough, major life situations.

I’ve not even finished the book yet but I wanted to share that I am really benefitting from the book already and I would highly recommend it to anyone, not just if you have a diagnosis. The techniques can be applied to pretty much any life stressor, whether it’s on the mild end of the spectrum to something you may feel is more severe. Somehow, she phrases it in a way that makes it stick in my brain as well, as I’ve noticed good old emotions come in the way and in those moments I forget a lot of the techniques I’ve learnt.

I’ve already used the problem-solving idea earlier this morning when I was stressing out about being late to an appointment and showing up without the ID they wanted. I was familiar with the problem solving skill but it’s just her delivery I guess, that reminded me. I also used the ‘putting thoughts away in a box’ a little earlier, it’s one that has never really worked well for me, and it still wasn’t 100% but it was still about 60% effective, and if it means I’lll feel better, I’ll take it.

I’m learning something new page by page and I’m so happy she shared her wisdom and knowledge.

I will report back soon guys I hope you are all well!

 

xx

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health

How my dad’s BPD led to mine.

A big statement. But a very true statement; my dad has been untreated his whole life. Sure, it’s calmed down for the most part now that he’s in his 60’s but is it enough to simply ‘act out less?’ I would say no. It’s not enough to stop acting out when what you say can be just as damaging – the thought processes, the ‘verbal’ acting out is still there.

My mum’s away for a couple of weeks so it means I have to be around him a lot more than I am when she’s here. Even the way he talks to her is not OK but she has accepted a lot of his behaviours and just smiles or ignores it. As someone who went on to develop (now, traits of BPD) I can’t just ignore what he says.

Anyway, last night I had a bit of a go at him, and in my eyes, rightly so. I am going in to work late as I type this, because I was playing it out in my head this morning (and I’m not that well as it is) to see how I could have changed my behaviour if I needed to. This is how it went down:

We went to my sisters last night and ordered take out as we’re making it a weekly thing to do that. He came by in a suit which is very unlike him. We asked him about it and he joked saying that it was because last time I called him scruffy (he had his hood up of his hoodie tight so you couldn’t really see his face so he looked like a bit of a thug). Apparently I asked him again in the evening but I don’t remember really.

On the way back to the car. I asked him again as a joke/conversation. ‘So what was the real reason you wore that suit?’ I thought he may have visited his lawyer as he has an ongoing legal battle that, or he went to visit someone… just a bit of topic of conversation. He fell back and started talking to my sister/complaining that I’ve already asked him 3 times, I don’t have to believe him if I don’t want to, it’s because he didn’t have anything else to wear.. it goes on. She kind of dodged it and asked if he’s staying around to which he said ‘no last time I stayed your sister came down at 9 had a go at me to stop being loud because she had work, it doesn’t feel right, I don’t feel right.’

This, obviously got to me. Really, how dare he. It’s super hurtful that out of his own misinterpretation he assumed that my asking about the suit meant that I was ‘criticising him’ or ‘not believing him’ when actually I was just trying to talk to him. (This is why I usually don’t bother). Then to talk about it right behind me to my little sister, leaving me to walk on my own and alienate me. In the car I got in and said ‘I was just asking you about the suit as conversation’ he kept defending himself and I just said ‘sorry I even asked a question.’ He still didn’t apologise/feel anything bad about it or notice that he upset me. Everyone’s meant to tread around his outbursts.

He was lieing about it being 9pm. It was around 10:40pm and I know because I saw the clock on my way down before I asked him to be quiet. My ‘go’ at him was : ‘can you talk quietly please I have to sleep for work and I can hear you.’ It wasn’t in a sweet tone, sure, but I wasn’t shouting either. And with his door closed and mine and him being downstairs he obviously wasn’t as ‘quiet’ as he thought he was. And as someone with mental health I need my flipping sleep. I have a strict schedule for a reason. Not that he knows or cares.

I’m hormonal, was in pain and exhausted and already trying not to split with my sister who was smoking while with us. I told her not to, she can do that in her own private time but she didn’t listen to me. Which is fine, I can’t control her and I’m trying to notice when I ‘split’ and start villifying her in my brain just because she isn’t doing something I want her to. I can’t control her life. I have to accept that sometimes people will do what they want even if you ask them effectively. Your nearest and dearest will not always listen to you. I’m not her mother and she’s old enough I know, I just struggle with not seeing her as ‘all bad’ at those times. I’m trying to see that she’s a mixture, a mixture who I love as a whole even though sometimes she may really piss me off. We’re fine today, and I’m not splitting on her today, because the event has passed. So I feel like in those times when I see her as ‘so bad/disrespectful/stubborn’ or whatever it is that I’m splitting her into in my mind, I need to try to remind myself that I won’t be thinking like that perhaps even in an hour or two’s time. It’s during those moments that I find it really tough to remember that. But today, it’s back to seeing her as my normal everyday sister. I know we have quite different personalities and views on things but if I want to get better I have to accept that as well.

The situation with my dad didn’t go well after that. I felt a sting of pain and I wanted to cry in the car. It was in that moment that it made so much sense to me that I would have, as a child, developed BPD traits. It could even explain the social anxiety. It’s the unpredictability. If you’re having a regular conversation with someone/joking around and they misinterpret the situation and start talking about you/complaining/arguing it makes sense that you’re going to be afraid/unsure/anxious in your future interactions with people. I have learnt to be unsure of what to expect. It’s why I’m always second guessing how someone meant something, or whether if I’m assertive I might get an ‘angry response’ or shut down or rejected. Because I’ve grown up in a house where I wasn’t getting a ‘normal’ response. It would just depend on his mood and the dysfunctional  way he interpreted things. I mean hell, he would even flip at my mum asking her ‘why are you looking at me like that?’ when I remember, she would be looking at him the way all people look at eachother, but he had found a way of turning it into a threat and argue with her about it. It was, no doubt, truly, messed up. Not to mention it led him to physically beat her so many times.

Anyway, moving on from that. I decided not to cry but I was going to get my point across. I’ve grown weary of letting him say and do what he pleases and it goes uncorrected. ‘I was asking you normally about the suit, you know just to talk, and it wasn’t 9pm it was 10:40 and I didn’t have a go at you or say you can’t stay round at all so don’t make it sound like I did’. I mean he still didn’t apologise.

This is where my anger started to mess with me and my taking care of myself. He diverted the topic and carried on talking to my sister, ignoring me or my existence. I was still mad when I got home and went back out to his car. I told him/shouted that he didn’t need to talk about me behind my back to my sister, that it’s not nice, it’s actually hurtful and not to make it sound like I’m not letting him stay. That it was out of order how he did that. He told me: ‘I don’t have time for this’ and drove off.

Of course, he never has time for any of this. He never actually has had time for my emotional responses. I’ve had to work on in therapy one particular instance from when I was about as young as 7 where I was crying and all he did was make fun of me. So, you know, the parenting skills/emotional availability just aren’t there.

I’ve learnt a lot from this incident and mulling it over.

  1. That I have to be careful not to split on my loved ones, and when I have, to notice that’s what’s happening (something I’ve been doing more of recently) and to give it time to pass. I was able to not to get into an argument with my sister and make the house awkward over her smoking. I’ve also realised it’s important to remember that even if I do ask someone for something, they can say no, and that I can’t control her/anyone else. If I still feel a certain way after I’ve come out of ‘split’ mode I can always bring it up in a mature conversation. This act of noticing yesterday saved me from ruining a relationship I have had to work to get back.
  2. It’s not my dad’s misinterpretation that hurts, it’s okay to misinterpret situations but he should have asked for clarity. He could have asked me what I meant by that question and it would have opened up the conversation for me to explain I was just curious/joking, he could have saved himself an argument that came about from his own judgements. For myself, if I feel like I’m interpreting something negatively, I’m going to ask ‘What did you mean by that?’ or ‘Why did you ask?’ or ‘Could you explain a little more?’ I might sound a little bimbo’y in asking but it’s better than the alternative and at least I can give the other person a chance to explain.
  3. This is probably why I am nervous in social interactions, or one of the reasons at least.
  4. It was good that I stuck up for myself instead of letting him bull-doze his anger over me and accuse me of something that just isn’t true.
  5. I didn’t need to run to the car and have a go at him. It only hurt me more than him. I can voice my opinion but it doesn’t mean the other person will be sorry/care. I would have had a more productive time engaging in self-care and calming myself down and then perhaps in a day or two if I felt I still needed to say more, I could say more. What is most important in these situations is that I take care of myself and bring myself down.
  6. Some people will not realise, or acknowledge their part in the situation. You can only voice your opinion skillfully.

I was raging a little in the house, for about a minute or two and then I went to my room to calm down. I realised I don’t want that kind of environment at home. I grew up in that kind of angry/scary environment because of my dads moods. I’m not repeating that. I know I’m only human and it was okay to be angry but it’s not nice for me or my brother and sister to see it at home. So I regulated myself and then got talking to my brother and sister as usual because I want them to feel comfortable at home. I especially don’t want them to be afraid of me, even if my anger isn’t directed at them.

In a way I realise now how important it is for me to be as emotionally regulated as possible. I want my home to be peaceful. I want everyone at home to feel safe and happy and know that despite my mental health struggles, they are okay with me. If I ever get married I would want the same in that house too.

I also want that for myself. I don’t want to be ranting and raging because someone said something to upset me. I want to put myself as first priority and my self-care as first priority. I will stick up for myself but I am not going to chase or force an apology out of someone, I can’t get someone to say sorry, or feel sorry. That is on them.

There’s a lot more I could say but I will leave it there for now. Mainly because I want all of this to sink in for me. I was musing on a lot more today, and have emailed another psychiatrist to see if I can try some meds again, will report back on that another time.

Have a lovely evening guys. xx