borderline personality disorder · bpd · dating

Mutual end!

There has been a lot to think about today and a lot of lessons learned, of the psychological kind, (always the best). I was a little distressed this afternoon (I say a little, but I mean a lot, like damn just keep pretend shopping until therapy, just make it through until therapy, gaaah I can’t wait to make it home, wow– therapy feels like home?!).

Yesterday went OK, as in, we had fun and I didn’t hate him.

When I got into the house, dropping the roses, chocolates and perfume onto the bed, to see the expectant faces of my mother and sister who were both dieing to know the deets, I immediately said ‘no’.

That should have been sign enough but it took me most of today to be sure. 

He’s a very nice person in general, caring, almost to a fault. I just didn’t feel any attraction to him. We didn’t have too much to talk about and our lives are quite different, being a city girl who has always wanted to live in the country, now I’m wondering whether that’s the right choice – his lifestyle just seemed so sheltered compared to everything I get to do now. Do I really want to leave? Maybe the move has to happen a lot later than I imagined, maybe I am learning the difference between what I thought I want and need to what I actually want and need? The meal at the restaurant was awkward as hell because he doesn’t experiment much (as in, reaaaallly sticks to one thing), we don’t have any similar hobbies, interests, movie taste, shows, style (I thought we did, we don’t).

I spent most of today juggling around in my head how to end it, whether I should end it, questioning if it’s my BPD pushing someone away, whether I’m afraid of getting close to someone or whether it’s the fact that I now finally have some kind of filter in my brain that can actually turn people down for healthy reasons. All my life, up until these last 2 years and especially this year, I haven’t been able to do that. Most of my relationships should never have happened and they were because of the lack of said filter so this new ‘standard’ and this ‘selecting’ strategy that I have is only now something I am using and starting to gradually feel more and more confident in. I hope I’m making sense, I’m writing this before bed so I’m really not sure whether this is truly reflecting the inner workings of my mind or if I’m rambling, (lol).

I started wondering whether it is me being too picky, of being doomed to a life of singledom and rejections and rejecting forever. I couldn’t wait to get into therapy today to hash it all out.

Therapy is my saviour, what keeps me grounded to reality and keeps me heading in the right direction without taking stupid left turns into dead-end relationships or self sabotaging or leaving my job which is so so tempting at the moment.

And it did help today, it helped because my psychologist agreed that I am actually benefitting a lot from these dating experiences. Not in terms of the hunt of finding the one, or the romance of it, so to speak, but I am learning so much in terms of social interactions, interpersonal relationships and navigating them. This whole ‘filter’ thing for example, would never have come about if it wasn’t for all of this, nor would all of this new thought about my self-worth and how I want people to view me and treat me. So I am happy and grateful that this is accelerating my growth and giving me more situations to hash over in therapy. I don’t feel stagnant I guess. 

I also realised I wasn’t being too picky, he said maybe I could be too ‘strict’ on my criteria at the moment but that maybe I need to give myself some time to learn and adjust it along the way, as I used to be so ‘open’ before and that didn’t do me good so I guess he means I will find a middle ground in my own time and so far, I think that rings true. I told him about all the things I didn’t like and that I didn’t have in common with my date and he agreed that these are all practical reasons not to go ahead with something but perhaps, most importantly, he told me to trust my feelings.

Trust your feelings, guys – you’re welcome.

On a gut level, I came into the house and said ‘no’.  I realise, I shouldn’t feel that way, I should be feeling the post-date joy, the excitement, the butterflies, the wanting to see him again. Today, I wanted to talk to him less, spent the day busy doing other things and then waited til I was free in the evening to talk to him on the phone. It hit home, that it felt like I was talking to a friend. He could talk about his day, I could talk about mine, it was pleasant, good to check-in, that was it, really. I wanted to get off the phone soon and read my new book that I’m obsessed with and blog on here.

So I ‘fessed up. In the nicest possible way, I guess I was trying to say we don’t have that ‘chemistry’ there. That’s the only way I can put it. The line from ‘friends’ to ‘partners’ was never crossed. He breathed what sounded like a sigh of relief and said he was glad I said it because he was trying to think of a way of telling me the same thing. That he felt like he had gone out with a friend. He told me he’s happy he got to meet me and know me and that he still wishes me the best, that I’m a nice ‘lass’ (in his northern words) which is good to hear from someone who’s dated you, even if it’s just once, guess it brings home that I’m not nasty or stuck up when I meet new people. We wished eachother the best in finding the right person, to keep in touch and said goodnight. 

I felt amazed. I had actually called it! Not only that, but I called it right, said my truth and, I didn’t keep going just because he hadn’t said anything, waiting for him to call it as I used to (does he like me/not like me/does he want to continue/not continue?) dragging myself along hoping I feel more attraction to them just like I did in September. But to top it off, he felt the same!

I never thought I would be happy about someone feeling mutual lack of chemistry but there are so many firsts to experience!

I still have a lot of stuff to juggle the next few weeks, including the house and some issues at work, but I feel so good about what’s happened here, that it was another step in the right direction. I am realising I need my ‘breaks’ from looking to be more than therapy and just passing time, I am going to try to book a spiritual retreat or weekend classes.

For whatever reason, I feel like the next step is nurturing my soul for a little while.

 

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borderline personality disorder · mental health · Mental health culture

Don’t tell me I’m not tired when I’m tired.

Well I actually started this piece by typing up the word ‘Hi’ as if I was about to write an email so that should probably give an indication of how tired I really am. I’m not sure how helpful what I’m about to say will be, but I will say it because I need to, damnit. I’ve read quite a few articles online now talking about tiredness and the struggle with mental health. Namely, that the two are related even if one cannot see the health issue as you can a physical illness. It’s just that it seems to be happening to me a lot lately, and it is getting on my damn nerves.

When I say I am tired, I am tired. I don’t need to explain it, I don’t need to justify it, I don’t need to go through my day so you can ‘believe me’. Why the heck is this even a thing? I can even recall occasions in the past when I’ve jokingly or in a genuinely confused fashion questioned someone: ‘why are you tired, you’ve been at home all day watching TV!’. Not that I have been at home watching TV, between work, training, tutoring and dating I wish I had a day at home, only, I don’t.  It’s to the extent that I haven’t even had time to be nervous about my date tomorrow, I’m just going through motions of all the things I’m juggling. But when I find I do express my current state of being ‘tired’ no one seems to want to hear it, or believe me.

I mean on the outside, I get it, why would a single 27 year old find it so hard to work and go out, isn’t that what everyone at that age does? Only, you can’t see or even know about how I drag around this thing called borderline personality disorder which maybe I don’t have anymore but even then a diagnosis is just a checklist so really there are a lot of emotions and struggles still associated with it, such as the social anxiety that had me breathing deep in group training today and wondering whether I should slip away and pop an anxiety medication I happened to keep in my purse and come back hoping it will help me regroup. I didn’t, but the sensations are all still there. I mean, I’m still popping melatonin to make sure I sleep through the night, and I am travelling a lot. Ironically, a lot more than the people who are making said statements about ‘why are you tired?’ It’s frustrating as f to hear it from someone who doesn’t experience a day even similar to what you do. Sure, it’s easy to say when you get to nap mid-day or take it easy or drive to wherever you have to go so you’re not surrounded by the imbeciles on public transport that I face, you know, like the guy who decided to puke on the bus or the one who played his music so loud on his headphones the whole bus could hear it, to top it off it wasn’t even good music so it just felt like post-work torture instead of a nice silent bus journey home. 

I’m not saying I couldn’t have it worse, or I couldn’t be busier because I will be busier in precisely 2 days time. All that I really mean from this rant is that when I am telling you I’m tired, just for once, let me have that moment. I’m effing tired. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be saying it. I’m not being offensive, I don’t have to write an essay on the cause and effect relationship explaining the various factors that have led me to this point, all I need is to say it, and for you to accept it as my truth. It’s not even laziness, infact, I wish it was laziness. It also boils down to the same fact that people just don’t acknowledge that someone can have a lot going on mentally, I don’t need to have fever to be tired, I can be tired just from the thoughts and adjustments I have to make in my head. I mean I am glad I can make them and that I am currently at a level where I am functioning enough to be able to do all of this, but you know, it doesn’t remove the fact that it’s tough. I don’t understand why sometimes it’s the nearest and dearest that are the most invalidating whilst I can write all of this on here and receive nothing but support.

Still gonna say it. As much as I want.

borderline personality disorder · bpd · dating

Lantern festival date.

Starting to feel the BPD pang in my conversations with him now. We can talk for ages on the phone and not get bored. We’re talking about 3/4 hours every night and it’s before bedtime so we’re not messing up our work routine. It goes from anything random to the deepest insecurities we have and we haven’t even met yet. He is just such a gent, not for one moment has he made me feel like I don’t deserve the respect that any other woman does. No crude mannerisms, no asking me about my body size, feet, p*rn, ‘getting up to something when we meet’. This alone makes me feel so much safer when I’m talking to him. I felt comfortable enough to tell him about a lot of my past trauma, the abuse, how I grew up and he told me he found me more attractive in that I had been through so much and am now such a strong person. His reaction says a lot about him. Usually, I worry that when I go over my mental health and how I’m still in therapy that it would put someone off. Ben had said ‘potential problems with my sensitivity’ as one of the reasons for us not to pursue a relationship. But with him, he said it’s just made him want to take care of me even more, guess it brings out some instinct to protect or something? Lol, I don’t know, but it is sweet.

‘Such a strong person’, whenever you are told that, do you ever really believe it? I never feel like a strong person. I don’t think I focus on strength at all. I know I can focus on my achievements, but not on my strength in general, if I even have that. I actually spend most of my working days and mornings feeling like I don’t have my act together. Bustling around, just about managing to have breakfast and lunch (which I am stressing out about in the back of my mind, trying not to count calories) and get in for a reasonable time.

All in all, it is going well. I’ve planned the ins and outs of Sunday. We’re going to the Chinese lantern festival!

wow

It is so beautiful. I went last year too, In a way I can’t believe it’s been a year already. So much has and hasn’t happened. Well, I am looking forward to it and the lanterns should be fun enough to distract from my nerves and from attention from other people who will be too busy to realise this is a first date. (That’s where the social anxiety bit lies, in other people’s reaction).

But I am starting to think the worst, and worrying about emotional connection. Am I cutting myself off? What about the days when he sees me in my moods (basically, everyday)? Does he have any idea what he could be getting into? He hasn’t seen me when I’m mad, or upset, or in a super stressful situation, will he really be able to handle it, more importantly, love me through it?

I feel like I am finding excuses to say no prematurely, ‘we don’t have much in common’ hobbies wise – as if a relationship end all and be all really has to do with hobbies (it doesn’t, right, at least it hasn’t been for me, so far?). Our texting conversations pale in comparison to our phone conversations – does that show a lack of connection? What if I’m not as physically attracted to him in person as I am from what I’ve seen in pictures? How much of an instant connection is there meant to be? With him, I didn’t leap for joy at the first site of his profile, is that immature or a sign that we’re not as good as we should be? Maybe it’s meant to take time as it is so far?

I don’t want my BPD to try to cut it off before it has a chance. I am resisting that so far but it is there. I am feeling emotions for him but the closer he gets, the more I can feel the worry and fear kicking in.

borderline personality disorder · dating · Uncategorized

Letting in something new.

Or should I say someone. I had to completely block the last person I mentioned in my post who has really been quite ill. I just needed to give him a couple of days to make sure he wasn’t in a crisis state and he seemed to have weathered the worst of it, in quite a healthy way – he went out with his friends, his family member and visited his Dr, so he was quite resourceful. He was impulsive in that he told me he would be sleeping with someone to get over me, but I tried to tell him not to. I don’t know if he did.

The other thing that wasn’t healthy was that he kept calling me, one moment blocking me and then unblocking me and wanting to talk. He felt sad talking to me and probably upset that I wasn’t feeling the same way. He tried to convince me that my diagnosis was holding me back and I had cut him off because of my diagnosis, but I know that’s not true as if anything, my diagnosis makes me hold on to people, not let go. It did throw me off a little that someone was trying to use my diagnosis to explain what I was doing instead of listening to my reason why. I did it because it was what was best for us in the long-run. It didn’t have to do with fear of abandonment or intimacy or anything like that.

He was told by the professionals not to talk to me anymore so I am respecting their opinion and helping him ultimately, by letting him go. I blocked and deleted him and while a part of me will always hope for the best for him, I know it was right for me. It reminded me of a relationship at 16 where I put myself through so much unnecessary stress being a carer for my then bf, and juggling school work and no matter how much I did it was never enough for him. I was miserable, he took up all my time and I refuse to do it again. It’s one thing caring about someone and supporting them as and when they need it, but another where you are being used to regulate them and they need you constantly throughout the day. Human beings are not designed to take on the burdens of another in such a dramatic way. Even then, perhaps I would have given it a shot if I didn’t have my own struggles but as it is, I am faring much better with talking to someone who is without a diagnosis. I just need to do what’s right for me.

So I am on new ground once again. I am talking to someone new and it is going well, we will be meeting on Sunday. I am more nervous than excited, I guess trying to find the right person for quite a while now means that I am not quick to get excited. I am glad though, because it lets me take it all down a notch. I remind myself not to become impulsive, to take it slowly and to allow things to progress naturally, as they feel right. I am glad I faced that rejection in September and a break up early in the year because now I know that I can really whether the worst thing – a break up – and be healthy. I know I wont self harm or do anything crazy if things don’t go well so I feel a lot more comfortable and at ease. I am nervous though that things are going well and whenever they go well I realise that any relationship I have now will be with me not being in the throes of my sickness, but actually, me being pretty healthy.

This will be new territory for me and whatever I manage to cultivate, I don’t want to sabotage. I don’t want my mental health to come along and eff it all up like it has it’s many ways of doing. I have been happy and in love before, but keeping that love, and keeping it healthy, this is what I will really need to work on. I am getting through life OK, but I don’t want to go through it alone, and I really do want to be a mother someday. We’ll see. I am trying not to over-think things. But I am happy I am talking to him.

I will be so nervous on Sunday. X.X Ugh first date nerves suck. It never gets easier.

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · therapy

Exploration and new possibilities.

So I had my second assessment today. I was super frustrated with them as I was so clear from the beginning of this year that I wanted to be referred for DBT and that was it. They had a whole discussion about my case and called me back telling me that they could do that for me. I had an hour long grilling (‘assessment’) a couple of weeks back and then I asked again whether I would be getting DBT because that is what I was told. She said yes they would look over my case and then Id have another assessment and then be referred onto a trainee DBT therapist. I come to my assessment today (assessment number 2) only to find Ive been referred to another team in the same building (confused yet?) and they dont offer DBT. Basically, they’re not bloody listening. So I was super agitated. I told the therapist that I know it’s not her fault but I’m angry that Ive been pretty much lied to as I was specifically told I would start DBT after this assessment. With a trainee.

Well, now that I was there, I couldn’t exactly do anything about it. I was there in office with her, so I might as well get talking as Ive waited this long. This service, she told me, offers CBT and Psychodynamic therapy. I’ve had both. CBT didn’t do sh** for me a couple of years back so I am not a fan. Not to say it doesn’t work for people or certain situations but this is my own experience with it. I’ve also had psychodynamic based therapy with three different therapists now. I really don’t feel like going over my whole life story with another person. I’m also just not really at that stage anymore. I’ve gone over my traumas, I’ve come to terms with a lot of them. I know what’s left of my symptoms. A kind of constant management. I’ve learnt so much over this year. In fact I almost feel too recovered to go to this therapy anymore.

The rest of the session was almost a reflective session. It was oddly helpful I realised by the end of it. Even the therapist noticed that I had a lot of self awareness and was able to reflect on where Ive made progress and where I may still be struggling. I did tell her, in great detail.

This is where I’m currently at:

Still some identity issues- I know what field I am interested in pursuing but my day to day work is not reflecting my passion. I’m working just for money atm. But I am able to work full-time. I haven’t discovered a hobby I am ‘in love’ with or that takes me out of my head and focused enough for times when I’m feeling low. I also just want to say I have a passion, other than you know, obsessively reading about mental health and recovery.

Interpersonal difficulties- I’m not lashing out, slipping on boundaries or anything major but I do have to put in work, often ‘on the spot’ in a conversation I have to think about what someone said, how they meant it, what an appropriate response is. This can sometimes tick over in my brain in the space of a second. I have to still do this because I can feel the familiar ‘anger/fear’ response in my body and this is when I know I could be interpreting the situation based on impulse/BPD type thinking. When Im stressed and angry I also have to put in work not to take it out on my loved ones as it’s nothing to do with them and it only alienates me in the long run.

Emotion regulation – I’m still daily managing this one. I still get hit with random bad moods, though this past week not as often as I’ve been too busy, really, to stop and think about it. I also have to regulate anger/stress/anxiety often too. This is usually tied into my ridicolously long commute to work everyday which I really need to do something about. I have techniques though and she too noted that I have picked up a lot and am applying it to my life. Honestly, a lot of my emotions I feel are now within the normal range of what anyone else would experience in the situations I am in.

Romantic boundaries – I am not obsessive anymore (I have only just realised that as Ive typed this!, yay!). I also do not get overly excited when talking to someone new. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the conversation, late night calls and all that jazz but I no longer jump at feeling ‘complete’ or the chance to feel complete straight away. I actually find myself wanting to take things slow. Finding things out slowly, refusing to make anything ‘official’ straight away and asking lots of quesions. I am also now very wary of how someone makes me feel and whether or not they respect me and my past. I no longer wish to be someone or entertain someone who cannot do that.

I think as I am writing this, that I am going to say goodbye to the sessions. I cannot wait another couple of weeks or months after another session only to find myself in front of another therapist talking about my past all over again whilst I have so much insight already and am seeing somebody else, who is, pretty damn good at what he does IMO. He cares about me, I know that, and even he was excited for me at my last session. He can tell I have made so much progress.

I just lost my shit at home earlier, shouting, how typical! Lol. Luckily, I dont think it was too bad and I wasnt the only one at fault. I just have to be constantly vigilant and try to be the best version of myself

 

 

Uncategorized

Is life cutting me some slack?

I feel like life is starting to fall into some kind of rhythm. Getting there. Day by day. I have realised, that life, especially adult life, is just kind of boring. You grind but it’s for the long run. Something that in the throes of mental illness you don’t care much for. The ‘long run’ is exactly what you are trying to get away from. I am showing up to work full-time, I’m stumbling in a little late because it’s far travel-wise and I’m leaving a little early but at least I am showing up. I’m not super into work at the moment, but, I am waiting for the long-run – for a new and better position. Things are falling into place. I was worried I would have to find something by January but it turns out I don’t have to worry until Spring. I’m still going to look for more jobs on the weekend, but it’s nice that there’s less tension about securing something by Jan. It’s nice that I actually have a choice and that I care about my life enough to find something better. I don’t feel like I’m just surviving anymore, I feel like I have a ‘good enough’ life and now I am trying to make it better and better.  

I came home to find a letter telling me I am owed a good portion of money, so I will be cashing that cheque on Saturday!

I finally have real savings! Like enough to buy a car savings!

Something I thought that with my family situation and supporting my mum, I would never really be able to have. I have started saving again lately and it has been on my mind and I have been making a sincere attempt to keep putting money in. I know my BPD impulses mean I want to spend, but just the knowledge of that alone means I make sure I don’t touch my savings. BUT, it’s just that, I counter this by not putting much into the savings. I spend and buy some clothes too many. I am going to make sure this money isn’t touched. It feels like I can see a bit more of a future now, and I like that. It keeps me going.

I am still feeling terrible about this situation with this guy. He is not taking things well. But he has also told me about things that he kind of hid which show that the situation is yet still much worse than what I thought it was. I know just how deep mental illness can fuck with a person and it is truly fucking with him at the moment. I am trying to be there for him as someone who truly understands what it’s like without throwing away my own boundaries and what I have built for myself. I spoke to him on the phone for a while, asked what his plans for the evening were and gave him some suggestions so I hope he’s keeping busy. I just hate that we have to live this way because of traumas from childhood (in this case anyway) and then also have to find the strength to pave a way out of it. Usually, with squat all family support. They don’t understand, nor do they try to. I kind of hate them for that.

When you have known mental illness and to some extent always will, you understand the darkness of it all, the way it sucks you in. The way you have to find a way to claw your way out. Always an impulsive decision away from making things go from bad to really-life-and-mind-altering-worse. All it takes is one night of stupidity and you could be paying for it with your life, a hospital stay, a drug trip and you’re in some strangers bed kicking yourself. I really want to be part of the process of him being able to get out.

Mental illness is not pretty but if the last 20 months of my life are anything to go by, you can get so much better. I know, just this year’s therapeutic work alone means I will never be the same again.

 

 

borderline personality disorder · sex and love addiction · Uncategorized

Sexuality and shame.

I decided today that I am done. Well and truly done with this pattern of shame and destructive behaviours around my sexuality. I am not sure when or how I picked up this message but somewhere along the line, (maybe my teenage years?) I have learnt that I, have to pay for all my relationships and sexual activity by being penalised for it in the future. That with each failed relationship or each encounter I am less worthy and should expect to be treated as such. Not just to expect it but that it is perfectly okay for these types of men to not only make these degrading statements but then to pursue whatever type of relationship they want with me. A perfect example being how men bash prostitutes but can still sleep with them.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had a statement made to me that has enraged me to this point. I am glad it did. It’s allowed me to bring up a new boundary and set a new bar for myself. I am not my past relationships. I am not how many people I have or haven’t slept with. I am a human being who like everyone else, has loved and lost.

Perhaps the most prominent memory I have of this type of shaming (to put it mildly) of me was from an ex who I actually loved. I had dated (sadly) his friend prior to even knowing who my ex was or having met him. This guy saw me 3 times in 3 months of our shabby relationship and probably cheated the whole time, he was out in the clubs, just without me. Naturally, we ended. Now, because I had dated him, my ex was bombarded by the friend group not to date me, that I was a ‘bad girl’ (because I dated and slept with someone? Who cheated on me?!). So cheater not only gets away with it and business for him goes on as usual (he cheated on the next girl too, surprise surprise) but I’m seen as being some terrible human for sleeping with someone I was in a relationship with.

Ex got drunk one night and had some crap said to him by a mutual friend of ours (about how I don’t like him as much as a previous ex). This got to him obviously, only in his drunken state he told me that ‘I/this isn’t pass the parcel’. Holy f***. The sting of that statement never really left me. What I wonder now is, how did I stick around after hearing something like that? The BPD cling. (Maybe I should really coin it that?) I have always wanted love so much that whoever has loved me I have taken it and tried my best to keep it. Clung to it. Why was I okay with someone who could say that to me? Shame me for being sexual when here you are in a relationship with me and haven’t exactly been a saint yourself?

This last guy expected me to be open to sending him explicit pics of me and to ‘get up to whatever’ when we met. The lines blurred for me because he has feelings for me. He has feelings for me so I do what they want. That is the way it has been. I want love so because they love/like me I do what they want without my own choice. Its like I’m on autopilot.

Where was my choice?

My psychologist said that to me 4 weeks ago when I told him about the charming fellow who forgot about our date. I explained I was still open to seeing him if he wanted. Why is it always them calling the shots? What about what I want? What kind of behaviours do I want to see in a partner? The question has thankfully stuck with me.

‘What is your choice? What do you want?’

I haven’t been making choices in my life because of this sickness over the years. I’ve just been reacting and needing. I’m finally making choices. Letting this guy go was my choice. Deciding I’m never going to let someone shame me for having lived my life the way I have is another choice. Everyone deserves respect. Quite frankly, I don’t care how many women a man has slept with, it’s not why I’m talking to you. That does not make you up as a whole person.

My sexuality is my choice. If I sleep with 250 men and then decide not to sleep with you, that is my choice, one, that I am fully entitled to. There is such an attitude of expectation that it sickens me. Since when was there a cut off point? That by guy 5 or guy 20 she no longer has the right to say no? Or to pursue a serious relationship in the future? Why am I allowing myself to be shamed for having a past? A past mind you that is the same as everyone elses’- that of a life lived, with lessons learnt, good and bad times. I am not how many relationships I have had or the number of people I have slept with. I am tired of that message.

I am also tired of accepting that message and the shame. I do not need that. That’s not to say that I am going out on a humping spree to counter this mindset. It’s more to say that I am going to make my own choices. If I want to wait in a relationship I will wait. I am also going to choose someone who doesn’t try to make me feel crappy about it. I deserve respect regardless and that is what I, from now, will always demand.

 

– P.S.  Incase you’re wondering, I got close to taking the pics, then realised this was me just appeasing him, a cheap trade off for love and not my choice. So, I made mine and it wasn’t sending them.

🙂