Since realizing that I live in denial I have done a lot of thinking about why I find it more comfortable to be ignorant to my past and my pain.
I can say quite confidently that some of the ” BPD symptoms” developed as a defense mechanism and have helped protect me from emotional pain that might have killed me. I can’t let them go and that is where the problem lies.
If I stop fighting, if I stop being angry then I become vulnerable. I unfortunately see it as if I don’t get my way then I am giving in to others. This comes from one too many relationships where the guy I was with dictated many if not all aspects of my life.
Two guys come to mind: S and R.
I was with S for 2 months (the worst two months of my life). He was 21 and I was 17. S was attempting to train me to be his little housewife. S did not want me interacting with other guys. When I had a male partner for an English project at school (grade 12) he demanded I ask my teacher to let me switch to a female partner. I ended up doing the whole project via text messaging. I spent almost every day with him so he would know where I was and so we wouldn’t fight. He was my prom date and got mad at me that night because I was taking pictures with my guy friends. He said they were groping me but in reality we had our arms around each other’s waist, a typical picture taking pose.
I planned on going to Alberta that summer (2007) to work and he told me I hadn’t proved to him that I should be able to go somewhere far by myself. Trust was something I had to earn from him and until I earned it he was going to assume that he couldn’t trust me. The final straw for S was when I wanted to spend a second night at my friend’s house. He said, “how dare you!” and that was when we ended our relationship. I cried for 10 minutes, out of pure frustration.
Next was R. I was 18 and he was 23. We dated for 14 months. He very quickly in our relationship referred to me as a slut and made sexually offensive comments about me. R didn’t want me speaking with or hanging out with guys and that eventually included my girl friends. We spent about every day together or we were constantly texting. I tried everything I could think of to make him feel comfortable and I tried to compromise. He went on my MSN and got into a fight with one of my guy friends, he went through my text messages and my journal to see if I was hiding something. R told me constantly, “Guys and girls can’t be friends.” We would fight and at times I would win but only for a day or two. I once left him at my house and went to my friend’s party but he had criticized what I wore, telling me I looked like a whore.
When I was in university he would text me before exams and break up with me, making writing them very difficult. When I would be studying at home he would get mad at me that I wasn’t paying attention to him. R admitted to my Dad that he was worried I was going to be smarter than him. We spent most of our time in his room or in my basement since I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my friends and he had ditched his. The one time he met my friends (the three girls above) he told me he thought they were sluts. It was while I was with R that I began speaking with my current partner and I began to like him. When I finally left R he harassed my partner, my friends, my sister and myself for 7 months.
I would have thought that 4 years of freedom with my current partner would cancel out all the bullshit that guys, especially S and R, put me through but it’s not. This is through no fault of my partner and I guess no fault of mine. I don’t want anyone to take away my power ever again! I’m going to the extreme though, I need to be in total control of myself or else I think I’m being controlled.
When my partner asks me when I’m going to wash the dishes it is not uncommon for it to turn into a fight because I feel like he is making me do something I don’t want to do. No one wants to do dishes but I see it as he’s trying to control my life which is not true at all. He’s told me that. He’s told me we’re a team but I can’t let my guard down again.
This fear will hold me back. My strong desire to never be made powerless will make changing my thoughts and putting my emotions in check impossible. I know I’m safe in my relationship with my partner. He’s given me what I’ve always deserved and that is my right to be me. I’m still scared. Will I always be scared?
Well, that’s easy. Every time I decided to stay with a controlling ex-partner instead of leaving!
“Get out of your relationship, it’s not good for you!”
“You don’t need to be in a relationship! There is nothing wrong with being single.”
“You won’t find who is right for you while you stay in this bad relationship.”
I have GREAT relationship advice but I never take it myself. I have found myself repeatedly in predominantly emotionally abusive and controlling relationships, knowing I should leave and I do not.
I am not in that relationship now but majority of these horrible relationships were ended by my partner because they got tired of me. I should have ended these relationships when they told me what to wear, who I could hang out, who I could talk to, where I could go, when they went through my phone, email, and journal, when they called me names and made me feel like I was nothing.
It makes me feel like a hypocrite but it’s always harder to do things when it is our own live and we have to experience the consequences first hand.
This song is the story of majority of my past relationships. I’m sure many of you can relate.
“So I cross my heart and I hope to die
That I’ll only stay with you one more night
And I know I said it a million times
But I’ll only stay with you one more night”
I am attending Toronto’s Occupy APA which is Sunday May 6th, 1pm at CAMH 250 College Street.
Thought: I mean this in mental health. We are all familiar with discrimination and oppression based on your mental health status but each illness experiences its own oppression within the mental health system. How we treat someone with depression is not how we’re treating someone with psychopathy. It feels to me that if your illness causes the typical negative traits such as anger, manipulation, low empathy etc then you’ll read medical headlines such as:
“How to Deal With a Narcissist” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201008/how-deal-narcissist)
“How Psychopaths Chose Their Victims” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/search/query?keys=psychopath&x=0&y=0)
“Stop Walking On Eggshells” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201003/welcome-the-new-blog-stop-walking-eggshells)
I’m concluding that unless you have a mood disorder then the mental health system is going to shit on you. There is not enough understanding about other disorder in general (depression, bipolar and anxiety have been taking center stage for a long time) and it’s harmful and hurtful that when attention is paid to another disorder that it is all about the pain other put on them! Psychopathy, narcissism and borderline are legitimate DSM diagnoses are they not? If yes, they should be treated with the same empathy as the mood disorders! For narcissism, there is even a support group for individuals who have experienced abuse at the hands of partners, family or friends who have this personality disorder (http://www.narcissismfree.com/)!!! I have experienced much of the same idea with BPD. I’m not considered in pain, I’m considered a bitch.
Schizophrenia has also been pushed to fringe but I am seeing a lot of awareness around this disorder as of late that is making me hopeful.
Stop and think about what it’s like to be the people experiencing the disorders that we don’t talk about. The disorders that many outside it need to “survive”. I can’t leave my brain. I’m stuck with my rages, impulses, negative views no matter what. Stop telling people how to escape me and start supporting how I can become a better person. The people who have the “mean” disorders experience pain too.
(a longer thought lol)
Session 2 Activities
Can you inherit BPD?
1. Do you know a family member that also suffers from BPD?
No, but other mental health issues such as depression/anxiety do run in majority of the females in my family.
Is it something to do with the brain?
1. What do you know about the brain?
The brain controls everything in your body. I am a firm believer that the brain does whatever it wants so that anything is possible.
2. How many neurons do you that are needed to do all the tasks the brain does?
I think this is a silly question but I’m sure it is a hell of a lot of neurons! Millions! Maybe billions?
3. It is believed that BPD could be caused me high stress during childhood causing changes in brain development. Did you experience high stress as a child?
I was very shy when I was younger. I was put down for my looks, was ignored by “friends”, developed depression, engaged in self injury, had thoughts of and attempted suicide, engaged in drug and alcohol use, had many unstable partner relationships, was made fun of and hated for certain things I did, had no support from friends or family and a few other things that I’d rather not mention…..no I did not experience high stress as a child……
Does the environment in which you grow up in cause you to develop BPD?
A number of indicators of someone developing a Borderline Personality Disorder may be due to traumatic experiences whilst they were growing up which include:
- Loss of a loved one either through divorce or bereavement.
- Neglected of their basic needs, for example, love and protection.
- Emotional abuse, for example, criticized or verbally abused.
- Painful illnesses.
- Treated inconsistently by caregiver.
- Exposed to domestic violence.
- Physically abused, for example, beaten.
- Sexually abused by carers they trusted.
- Separated for whatever reason from caregivers or loved ones.
1. Did you experience any of the above?
I did lose my aunt, I personally feel that some of my basic needs were neglected, I experienced emotional abuse, painful illness, yeah depression. A few others.
What famous people suffer from BPD?
1. Do you know any famous people who may have suffered from BPD?
I personally do not want famous people to be my focus.
Next: Session 2 Part 7- End of Session Questionnaire