Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Have a Bad Relationship With My Brain

Note:  I wrote this last night, but as I review it this morning it should still probably go out into the world.  Maybe I'll learn to accept myself a little more.  

I don't know how I developed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or how such simple let-downs can turn into bone-shattering tragedies for me.

Most of the people who know me as an acquaintance would say this diagnosis is not true.  Not even remotely.  It is a disorder associated with shame and bad behavior.  Those closer to me (and my psychiatrists)...would speak of another truth (actually, one called it a mixed personality disorder, saying I bounced between borderline and histrionic personality disorders all of the time).

This disorder has led me to drive away 95% of the people who have ever attempted to have a close relationship with me.  It is composed of the feelings and actions that I want to hide away from the rest of the world, yet here I am writing about it.  After a couple of abandonment panics brought about by my judgmental factors on how those in society (especially those closest to me) should act, I just broke down in despair and anger.  I treat people the way I would want to be treated, but apparently my standards are unrealistically high.

I have a history of hurting myself to make the pain seem more under control, as well as dissociating entirely.  I am now highly medicated and try to avoid the urge, but it exists all the same and sometimes I give in.

I have learned the basics of Dialectical Behavior Therapy and have found it to be of no help.  This blog is the closest thing to helping me, as it allows me to write out my feelings and then reflect back on them/get input from others (who will hopefully not judge me for this).

Borderline Personality Disorder is often linked to serious childhood abuse/trauma, of which no one close to me remembers any.  I don't remember much from my childhood, so it is based mostly on the interpretation of others.

I have epic imagined abandonment issues and when those become real, the shit hits the fan.

I am letting my fear flag fly today...maybe someday I'll be able to figure it out.  God knows, I'm trying.

(Image from WeHeartIt)


Shelli said...

Having no memories of your childhood hints that there may be something unbearable there. There is an association between CFS and childhood trauma. I'm not saying it causes it, but probably changes our brain chemistry to make us more susceptible.

I don't think you'll find any judging here. I hope it will always be a safe place for you to share what you're feeling and get support for what you are going through.

Anonymous said...

Annie, I knew nothing about BPD until I read this. You were very candid in the post and I hope you can continue to work on figuring all this out. A lot of people care about you Annie!
Hugs and Hugs to you

Annie said...

Thank you for both being so positive about this post. I am often concerned about possible backlash, but find this to be a great place to get my ideas out and find the kind words and suggestions of others.

It's not an easy battle, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

elisabeth said...

The things inside our heads are always the scariest. By far, mental/emotional issues are the most difficult for me to talk about, so I understand what a struggle it can be and anyone who can talk about these things has my respect. Kudos to you for airing your fears, and good luck. *hugs*

dominique said...

I don't know if this will help you Annie but I was repeatedly diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in the past. The thing is...I never had it.

What I had is a lot of wounding from my past. It took me four years of therapy unwinding that wounding (like a rape) and figuring out what was my responsibility and what wasn't.

I also completely lacked coping skills. I had none. So I had to learn all that.

In addition, I had never come to the understanding that every decision I make is a choice. That was news to me.

Anyway, after lots of hard work, I am whole today.

I cannot imagine what it is like to cut yourself so you can feel. But what I can tell you is that I understand being in that place where it's like you are a square peg being forced into a round hole.

I am really proud of you for openly sharing your struggle. That is huge and took a lot of courage.

I think you are on the right path. Just don't give up. We must go through our pain in order to come out on the other side.

And you know what? There are a lot of us who will stand by you as you walk this out!

You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Alison said...

First of all, I just want to point out that what Shelli said, that there is an association between CFS and childhood trauma, can be misleading. There seems to be a little understood link between childhood trauma and disease in general, but CFS does not stand out among any other disease. People only think it does because the people at the CDC completely misunderstood CFS, kept looking for these links, publishing about it, and despite all the more legitimate scientific studies done by others and published in more distinguished journals, the media only picks up on studies by the CDC, because they put a lot of money into PR for it, and otherwise, the media doesn’t care about CFS. There’s a really good, easy to read article about it Psychology Today that I’ll link to below because I can’t figure out the html.

Myself, I can say with certainty that I had an awesome, non-traumatic childhood, and I still got CFS at 15. I’m sorry to hear you say you don’t remember much of yours. I guess it’s a good thing then that you blog so much! :) And I’m glad you feel that writing honestly about your feelings gives you some kind of help, even if it’s just a little. I totally feel the same way.

Since we’re being honest here, I’m going to go ahead and say I’m not at all surprised you think Dialectal Behavior Therapy hasn’t helped you. I actually didn’t know what it was, I assumed it was like cognitive behavior therapy, but actually, according to wikipedia, it’s a combination of CBT and Buddhist meditation. I do believe meditation can be helpful to anyone, though I haven’t really put it to the test myself yet. But CBT? That is probably last on the list of things PWC’s find useful as treatment. We know the serious, physiological symptoms of CFS, probably caused by a retrovirus, so why go to a psychologist for treatment?

Anyway, I hope you’re having a good day! :)

Annie said...

Thanks everyone.

I don't fully believe the link between childhood trauma and the existence of any of these disorders, but who am I to speak on anything.

In my personal opinion, being that sick since childhood (and constantly being called a liar by the health system) was enough to cause some mental issues in the first place.

I appreciate all your help and advice though!