Growing Up With BPD

Trigger warning: This post talks about self harm and suicidal behaviours

When I was diagnosed with BPD at age 18 a lot of things fell into place. When I showed my mum a leaflet about the diagnosis she was able to link a lot of my behavior to the disorder. Fair to say we both agreed with the diagnosis, in hindsight the signs were there all along but professionals are reluctant to diagnose children and teens with BPD as the mood swings and unsure identity could be put down to growing up. They tend to wait until you’re 18 or older to diagnose you but I think if someone had picked up on the signs at an early stage I might have got better but instead the symptoms got progressively worse.

For as long as I can remember intense emotions have affected my life. When I was in nursery and primary school I would get so distressed about going and being separated from my mum that I would cry, scream and put myself at risk to avoid going. I’d run away from home or undo my seat belt in the car in the hopes that we would crash and I would get hurt or die so I wouldn’t have to go to school.

I would cry out of nowhere even if, like a minute ago, I was laughing I could suddenly start crying or get angry at the drop of a hat. Attachments were an obvious issue for me as well, not just being overly attached to my mum but I would get attached to toys and games, getting incredibly upset if they broke. At the age of 10 I was in therapy for anger management problems. I only got six sessions with the therapists but when they “dropped” me I felt unwanted, unimportant and abandoned.

I used to go horse riding every week which I enjoyed but from one week to the next I could feel completely different about it. I remember looking forward to this special riding party with other kids but on the day of the party I was crying and screaming like I was being forced to go to school.

My friendships were very unstable in my primary school/early high school life. I would get angry easily for reasons that not even I knew sometimes but it meant a fight nearly every other day. We would always make up and be good friends until the next time I got upset with them. Being friends with me was like trying to handle a ticking time bomb that could go off at any minute or with even a slight wrong touch. There are a lot of diary entries from my first year of high school talking about this one girl and each entry would be either about how bad of a friend she was or how we made up after a fight… Again.

Suicidal ideation was around from a young age too. I wrote in my diary about how I hurt a friend and how I felt so guilty that if she didn’t forgive me I might as well end my life. This may all sound dramatic but this was how I was genuinely feeling at the time. I was considered a drama queen and a crybaby for years because of this emotional intensity.

I was bullied as I wore my heart on my sleeve and it was obvious there was something wrong with me as I was able to go from laughing to crying to lashing out in a matter of minutes. I was aware of how my emotional sensitivity was a problem but I didn’t know how to control it. In my teen years these erratic emotions morphed into severe depression and anxiety.

I was crying almost every night and having a panic attack nearly everyday, I’d also learned how to self harm and that became my way of releasing my emotional pain and self hatred. I eventually got counselling and group therapy for these things which helped a little but as the disorder could not yet be diagnosed, the issues were still there. I just became better at hiding/suppressing my emotions at school and with family, saving my “meltdowns” for when I was alone.

I changed my mind a lot too, picking my subjects to take at GCSE was a nightmare as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be when I got older. My aspirations would change nearly every week and I went to the office multiple times to change my options, I eventually settled for Drama, Art and Child development as, for a short while, I wanted to be a social worker,that dream changed quickly though.

In college things seemed to be looking up, I was happier there but underneath the cheeriness was the fear that if I let my “true” self show everyone would hate me and I would be bullied again so I played up the happy/hyperactive persona as that is the side of me people seemed to prefer. However, this escalated into mania that would last a couple of hours but by the end of the day I was emotionally and physically drained from all the hyperactivity. If something went wrong during the day or I perceived someone as being upset with me, my mood would quickly change to depressed and distressed.

So you see, when I was a child, I had no pause button on my emotional reactions. Whenever I felt overwhelmed I didn’t know how to stop the tears or the rage, I didn’t know how to react to these intense emotions in a healthy way or communicate how I was feeling to others appropriately so very soon a wedge was driven between me and the other kids. It was when I started being bullied more severely in high school that I learned to not let my feelings show, bottling them up and suppressing them as much as I could but even then some of it would show, especially the rage.

The emotional intensity, mood swings, unstable relationships, attachment issues and lack of identity were there with me from a very early age. Things have improved since I got neurofeedback, DBT therapy and medication but there are definitely things I need to work on like resolving my trauma and coming to terms with the way my life is now because of said trauma. I understand why professionals are reluctant to diagnose people with the disorder before 18 but I think early intervention is key for BPD. I think there is a term called ’emerging personality disorder” that identifies symptoms of a personality disorder in young people without actually diagnosing them. I think this would have been useful for me as it would have got me treated sooner and improved my school life but alas that was not the case. I do think it would be a good idea to teach children about how to deal with difficult emotions and how to look after their mental health, not necessarily if they show signs of mental illness but in general.

Hope you liked this post, do feel free to let me know what you think or share your experience with a personality disorder in childhood. Thanks for reading.

NI2M ❤

19 Signs You Grew Up With Borderline Personality Disorder

18 Signs You Grew Up With ‘Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder’

https://thetab.com/uk/sheffield/2018/10/11/this-is-what-it-is-really-like-growing-up-with-borderline-personality-disorder-36588

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BPD AND THE STRUGGLE TO DISAGREE

I hate disagreeing with people, it brings up intense anxiety and panic in me, especially if I like the person and want them to like me. It’s always been hard for me to comprehend how people can disagree on things and still have a good relationship. I’ve always thought of disagreements as a way of damaging a relationship. The only time I feel able to openly disagree with someone is if I’m really angry and believe I’m right then I tend to get destructive and withdraw from the relationship as I suddenly despise the person and want nothing to do with them. I think this is called ‘splitting’ which I’ll probably write a full post about another time.

With more awareness of my problems with emotional regulation and lack of interpersonal skills, I’ve been consciously trying to remain calm when disagreeing with someone. It’s not easy though as my value of being true to my beliefs conflicts with the disorder’s desire to be loved and accepted by all. I want to be honest and stand up for what I believe in but I also want to just agree with the person so they won’t hate me. As, for me, disagreements turn to hatred fast. I try to remember that not everyone thinks this way and its okay to disagree. It’s all about finding a balance of validating the other person’s feelings while also validating your own and that’s been a difficult balance to find.

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When someone disagrees with me, it feels like an attack and fight or flight kicks in where I either panic, backtrack what I said and apologize (even if I have nothing to apologize for) or get so aggressively angry and defensive that I push the person away and cut them off completely. Because why would I want to be associated with someone I disagree with? and vice versa. I couldn’t see why someone would want to associate with me if we didn’t see eye to eye on everything. If I was in a relationship with someone I thought we’d have to be an exact reflection of each other and want the same things otherwise we couldn’t stay together. I just didn’t see how it could work. I’d do whatever the other person wanted me to and act how I think I should because I didn’t want to upset them in any way.

This people pleasing tendency often leads me to feel bitter and resentful, like I bend over backwards for these people and they don’t treat me the same in return (because everyone is different and shows love in different ways). Inevitably the other person would do or say something that would push me over the edge and I would snap. It would come out of nowhere for the other party involved but for me it would have been building up over time and I just couldn’t take the pressure anymore. The term “treading on eggshells” is used a lot by people when describing their relationship with someone with BPD which I can understand but, at least for me, it would go the other way too. I felt I had to be so careful in everything I said and did so people wouldn’t get angry with me.

I hate when people are angry with me it makes me feel like I did something wrong and with BPD making a mistake and being a bad person are the same thing. Only bad people do bad things and it can be hard for us to comprehend that those who love us can say nasty things when angry. As far as we’re concerned they hate us because why would they say those things unless they hate us? It goes the other way around for me too. I once got into a fight with my mum and I told her I wished she was dead because I was so angry I thought I hated her at the time. When we both calmed down and I apologized I didn’t understand how she could still love me and forgive me after I said something so awful because doesn’t that make ME awful?

In conflict, especially with BPD, it can be hard to accept other perspectives in a situation because of ‘black and white’ thinking. You’re either wrong or right, good or bad, when I try to see another POV I get really distressed because if the other person makes a valid point does that make everything I believe wrong and them right? No, because the world is rarely black and white but shades of grey 😉 sometimes we don’t want to listen or validate the other person’s argument as it can feel like a betrayal to our own values and community. Like with extreme feminism/anti feminism or religion, we can develop an “us or them” mentality “you’re either with us or against us” no in-between or middle ground because the community can shun you for not completely agreeing with or obeying/believing them. It’s why I don’t really get involved in politics or label myself with any religion as it feels very much like having to pick a side and close myself off to other perspectives

Anyway, recently I had a DBT session about interpersonal effectiveness and I realized its not the fact we disagree that’s the problem, it’s the way we disagree with each-other that’s the issue. I see it a lot, especially online, when people disagree with each-other and they yell, treat each-other with aggression and no respect. Insults and swear words are thrown around which gets neither party anywhere. Its fair that, when someone calls you a “piece of shit” for not sharing their views , you want to fight back and defend yourself but you can’t fight fire with fire. My therapist taught me a DBT skill called GIVE which I think even those without BPD could do with learning.

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G stands for GENTLE- Treat the other person with kindness and respect (I know this can be hard especially if you consider their actions and statements to be immoral but they’re more likely to listen to you if you don’t attack them)

INTERESTED- act interested in what the other person is saying by making eye contact, keeping your attention on what the other person is saying without interrupting them. Nod from time to time as they talk to show you’re listening.

VALIDATE- What the other person has said and how they’re feeling by saying things like “I see this is important to you” or “I understand that you’re angry” try to understand where they’re coming from and work from there. This is NOT the same as agreeing with the other person but showing compassion for them is more likely to calm them down and get them to listen to you rather than shouting or insulting them.

EASY MANNER- Notice your body language, voice and choice of words; make sure you are not shutting the other person out by crossing your arms, raising your voice or belittling them. You can smile and use humor (if appropriate) to ease the tension as well.

Related Resources:

https://www.phumlanikango.com/mental-health/2018/7/31/bpd-relationships-understanding-what-goes-on-in-our-minds

‘Don’t Disagree or They’ll Hate You’: My Guide to Friendship With BPD

How I’ve Learned to Manage Conflict in Life With Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD, Jealousy and Envy

I believe we all get jealous at some stage of our lives.  I used to quite a lot.  It used to be so bad at times I could feel it eating away at me and I would develop a strong dislike for someone, but not understanding why. Since starting my medication and neurofeedback therapy, I’ve felt it less often and intense. I still get envious though.  I find what triggers it is someone getting more attention or affection than me eg someone I perceive as being more liked/popular than me. It’s a hard thing to admit and I hate feeling this way but the green eyed monster can be powerful.

When I was attached to someone, this could be my mum or a friend, I would feel very possessive of them. If they had other people around who could fill my shoes, I would fear them leaving me as I tend to see myself as “second best” or the “backup plan”. I truly believed that a friend or family member would leave me as soon as they found someone better. It took me years to accept my mum’s best friend.  Before then I saw her as the enemy, the one taking my mum’s love and attention away from me, the one who my mum would leave me for. As crazy as this appears, this type of thinking makes sense when given my family history.

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I never really did anything about it though. When the green eyed monster came, I would feel ashamed for not just being happy for the people I loved and I would suppress the feeling. However this envy/jealousy would grow into resentment and bitterness because I didn’t properly address the emotions at the first stage. Thus leading to tension in my relationships with others and paranoid thinking which can morph into serious trust issues and destroy relationships.

I’m more socially isolated at the moment so I don’t experience jealousy as such but more envy.  Social media is a big trigger for this envy. When I think someone is doing better than me with content, followers or praise I find that pit of irrational hatred for the person I see as doing better than me. Like I said, I would see them as competition and I would feel bitterness for myself and life. Why can’t I be as well liked as they are? Why does their site look better than mine? Why isn’t my writing as good as theirs? etc. Then shame would kick in. Why can’t I just be happy for them? Why do I have to be so negative? Why can’t I just be grateful? I have decided to try and understand jealousy/envy instead of pushing it away like I usually do…
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The difference between envy and jealousy:

Envy vs. Jealousy. The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is the emotion of coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else.

Quote from: https://www.diffen.com/difference/Envy_vs_Jealousy

so, to summarize, Jealousy relates to personal relationships (romantic, familial and friendly) whereas envy relates to more materialistic things and can be felt towards a complete stranger.

Why do we get jealous or envious?

In DBT emotional regulation, one of the first things we learn is that each emotion has a function, even the ones we deem bad. Each one is there to motivate us to do something either negative or positive. Its not the emotion that’s necessarily bad its the actions we choose to take because of them. For example, Jealousy can motivate us to do better than our third party competition in order to keep the one we cherish and impress them. A negative action to take with Jealousy is to become possessive of a loved one, controlling or clingy to make sure the one you love can’t leave.

Envy can motivate us to push ourselves a bit more so we can do just as well as the person we’re envious of and achieve that success we crave. However this feeling can lead to things like bullying, where you try to tear down the person you deem more successful and happy to make them feel as bad as you. So you see, if we take these emotions and not judge them we can use them to become better friends, partners or family members and achieve more than we thought possible.

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Artwork by: Unknown

Jealousy and Envy in BPD

Jealousy and envy seem to be more of a problem in those of us with BPD. The jealousy probably stems from our insecurity and fear of abandonment. A blogger (linked below) said that envy in BPD could be due to our chronic sense of emptiness, causing the desire to have what others have that make them happy so that we may know happiness. It could also boil down to the fact that we can feel more intensely than others, which can lead to problematic behaviors when those feelings (i.e jealousy or envy) are not managed properly.

How to combat jealousy and envy (in a healthy way)

Another thing we learn in DBT emotional regulation is Opposite Action where we can choose to calm ourselves by acting the opposite way to how we’re feeling. You observe the emotion, what its motivating you to do and, if the action is deemed ineffective, we can use Opposite Action to neutralize the emotions.

For (a real life) example I was talking to someone via text and they stopped replying. I assumed I said something wrong or that they didn’t like me so I felt anxious and afraid. Because of this I was tempted to keep texting them until they answered, apologize or get angry to grab their attention. I knew that would be wrong so instead I cried while eating cake until I felt sick.

Now, in hindsight, once I checked that my actions would be ineffective or make things worse I could have practiced opposite action which would have been to show self compassion by challenging my assumptions of the worst “they hate me” and practicing self care instead of making myself ill.

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Image from: comic “working with envy” by Colleen Butters

Here are some OPPOSITE ACTION ideas for envy/jealousy:

  1. Count your blessings “name them one by one, count your blessings don’t you spoil the fun” (sorry, just whenever I came across that phase the song I was taught in school comes to mind lol)
  2. Challenge thoughts instead of acting on them. For example (on social media) think something like “is their life really that perfect? They could just be showing me what they want me to see and not the “ugly” parts of their life”
  3. Appreciate/ be kind to yourself. If you feel envious/ jealous it may be because you’re insecure and have low self esteem. So, take some time to appreciate that you’re doing your best and make a list (or ask a loved one to) of all your achievements and positive qualities.
  4. ACKNOWLEDGE, COMMUNICATE, RESOLVE– demonstrated in the “dealing with jealousy” video linked below. These three steps are more personal for myself as, like I mentioned before, I deal with jealousy by suppressing, withdrawing and leaving the situation unresolved because of the shame I have around the emotion. So this would be a very good Opposite Action for me.
  5. Think about the other person– People with BPD can be so empathetic, I find it hard not to cry when I see someone else cry or be sick when someone else has been. I’m very good at feeling others’ pain even when I don’t want to, I imagine this is the same for a lot of us, being so emotionally sensitive. If we find it easy to feel the pain of others, then we can learn to feel people’s pleasure too by putting ourselves in the shoes of the person we envy. I believe an article linked below mentions MUDITA which is sympathetic joy. I personally would much rather be able to experience people’s joy more than their pain, so I’d like to give this a practice 🙂

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to let me know your experiences with envy/jealousy. Have you been the jealous/envious one before? Have you ever been on the receiving end of jealousy/envy? How do you handle these feelings when they arise?

Take care ❤

Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201103/envy-the-emotion-kept-secret

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/turning-straw-gold/201207/transforming-envy-joy

https://www.borderlineblog.com/envy-envy-and-more-envy.php

https://www.my-borderline-personality-disorder.com/2018/10/bpd-trauma-and-jealousy.html

Resistance To Change

I’ve been doing really well recently, I’ve got back into voluntary work, I start my first paid job next week! And I may be getting another if a friend of mine needs help in her shop over Christmas.

What’s not going so well is the healthy habits I started practising. meditation, positive affirmations and reading self help books. They were working really well but then I started getting into arguments with people (which I actually heard is a normal thing when you’re making changes with your life, especially relationships) and getting really angry with them for not understanding my POV but you can’t force anyone to right?

But since that I have not had the motivation to keep up with the positive habits for two reasons 1) I thought if there are so many shitty people in the world who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and don’t even try to change, why should I?

I’m no saint but I know not everything is my fault either, I used to blame myself for everything but I realise now I’m not responsible for everyone’s feelings or actions, it’s how they choose to react and that’s fine, I can’t hold myself responsible for everything that goes wrong and it is not my duty to keep everyone happy at the price of my own happiness.

Reason number two is if I keep doing the work on myself and life things are just going to keep changing and I’m not sure I’m ready, I’ve come so far already and made some sacrifices to help myself live a better life but I’m stuck again at that stage of change where everything old is gone but nothing new is coming in. Life seems a bit stagnant at the moment and I do want new things but I’m also a bit wary, the possibilities of what could happen at this new job are endless. I also have awesome plans for the new year, I’m excited but also nervous because yes things could get better but things can go wrong as well… Ugh I refuse to self sabotage at this point, I may have made mistakes and I feel bad for them but that does not mean I need to punish myself in order to make it better, I’ve been doing that for years and  its time to stop, forgive myself, forgive others and move on.

Like I said though the motivation to keep up the good work has wilted like I don’t even want to touch my life right now because “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” I feel I’ve done all I can do for now, I got rid of a lot of the old and done some healing work so what next?

Right now meditation, positive affirmations and all that feels stupid even though I know it’s not but recently the rather negative aspect of myself has been at the forefront, saying everything positive is stupid or patronising and reality is a shitshow and I should be more “normal” unfortunately normal to me means being pessimistic. Don’t get too happy or comfortable because something could go wrong at any moment; my motto when I was younger was “never hope for things because you’ll end up disappointed” I know I was a gloomy 9 year old.

I’m proud to say with the help of medication, neurofeedback and self help books I’m not so much like that anymore. This is probably just a rough patch and I’ll be okay. One thing I learned about myself is that no matter what happens to me, I’m very good at bouncing back…

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤️

Alone Vs Lonely

This is a continuation of Progression Vs Regression, I suggest you read that post before this one if you haven’t 🙂 but if you have lets continue where we left off. Also TRIGGER WARNING this post talks about self harm.

The day after my therapy session I was in what my friend calls a post-counselling high which means that seeing my therapist motivated me and gave me a high plus this session had been particularly special because I felt like I had a breakthrough with my inner child (this high as you could probably note from my writing in part one does not last long) I remembered our conversation about how I needed to get out and meet people, I was really apprehensive about that because I have a few friends online and I know its not “normal” to be socially isolated and for some people its bad but every time I try to put myself in a situation that involves making friends face to face it goes horribly. Not to mention the fact that I just recently separated from my school friends because of how much distress they were causing me so perhaps I’m not ready to make new friends.

Well anyway I saw an advertisement for an open audition for a local amateur dramatics group as I’ve been told I have a flair for the dramatic (I’m currently drinking from a glass my friend decorated with the drama mask symbol on it because she said I am a “drama queen” I used to take offence to that but I’m starting to see it as a good thing as it made me a very talented performer) and I used to love acting, in fact I had recently been missing my college acting class but anyway in my post-counselling high  I was buzzing with confidence and energy so decided I would go.

On Thursday I had the house to myself so I could sing and dance until my heart was content for practice I started with my old breathing exercises and tried singing for maybe half an hour but then the self- esteem issues creeped in and my post counselling high was officially over. I remember laying on the floor thinking “what if my voice breaks and everyone laughs at me?” “what if I can’t act anymore because I’ve been out of practice for so long?” “I suck at dancing so I’ll just end up humiliating myself if I tried” But I have to go, therapist said I need to meet people and make friends” “what if no one likes me?” “what if they make fun of me?” “but I have to go, therapist said I can’t run away from what makes me scared”

For the next couple of days I couldn’t get the audition out of my head I was anxious and frustrated with myself for being so bad at making a decision and my therapist for making me feel like shit for wanting to be alone because that’s the only time I felt peaceful. I was now thinking “I don’t want to go but I have to or therapist will judge me” “fuck my therapist she doesn’t know what its like for me” “Ugh I’m such a cowardly quitter” “If I don’t go I’ll never make friends and always be alone… but what if that’s a good thing?”

There were two audition dates set and well I barely remember the first day, I didn’t go because I was still in emotional turmoil and hating myself, just wanting to curl up and binge watch movies and TV shows but beating myself up for wanting to do that because of what my therapist said about me isolating myself. Eventually I caved in from the stress of the past week and I went to the bathroom where I remembered seeing a razor and I cut myself 5 times until I bled and all I could feel was the sting of the cuts. I think since starting college again I was regressing back to who I was a few months ago, going back to the pain and trauma I knew so well.

As I write this its time for the second audition as you can probably guess I’m not going. There will be other auditions and while I do like pushing myself sometimes, I  really need to learn my limits. The self harm has motivated me to get in touch with a charity run counselling foundation to have talking therapy as well as the neurofeedback my current therapist is giving me. I think spending more time alone and in counselling will be a good opportunity to explore and learn more about myself, I don’t think I’m ready for new friends I’m content with the ones I have for now and I think putting myself under pressure to meet new people just hurts me more than it should.

Yes social isolation can be a bad thing, it can get lonely but I always felt lonely from childhood even with the group of friends I had, There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Yes I am alone a lot but I don’t feel the same loneliness I used to in a crowded room, I’m learning to love my own company before I learn to love the company of others so I make new friends when I want to not when I “need” to because in the long run you are all you’ve got.

Artist: Zindy.deviantart.com

Thank you for reading,

NI2M ❤

Progression Vs Regression

It’s been a really hard week. Lets start from the beginning I started my first proper college day on Monday and… I left early because I couldn’t take it. I was having symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress and could feel myself spiraling down, down, down into this whirlwind of fear, guilt and self hate, I didn’t realise at the time that I was regressing back into my former state and… I quit… to study online instead, I felt this was truly better for me but on day two.

My Therapist was pushing me somewhere I didn’t want to go, I know that’s her job but I just wasn’t ready for it she asked me why I left and what could have been done differently and kept going on and on at me about how I couldn’t keep running away from what I’m scared of and I was just Ugh I didn’t want to look back ( and anyway hadn’t she said we wouldn’t talk about my past because she didn’t want to make me relive it because that hinders progress?) I blanked out most of what she said but it was things that I’d already considered.

I didn’t want to run away that’s why I went back after the first day (which didn’t go well check out this post to know why) I’d lasted three days which is a record for me and my college history of quitting but by day three I KNEW it wasn’t right for me and now my therapist wanted me to question everything AGAIN things that I already been over time and again in my mind (doing what one of my favourite youtubers calls Mental Gymnastics) I was getting so upset I envisioned myself punching the wall and breaking her laptop which I do my neurofeedback on but I didn’t do that instead I started sobbing and my inner child came out; I started tugging at my hair until it hurt I kept saying I wish they (they being my bullies) were dead and how I wanted to kill them for hurting me ( this was how I was when I was about 14/15 and was so overcome by depression and anger that it was a good thing we aren’t allowed guns in my country) this as you can tell was a dangerous place to go back to and I wouldn’t realize how dangerous until later in the week.

Wednesday my rapist’s ex texts me (he’s close to the family and she suffered abuse from him but me and my mum were the only ones who believed her because of what he did to me so we’ve formed a bond) saying that he went to her place to collect his bike after months and that he was saying how sorry he was for what he did blah blah blah (typical abuser speak) and that he wanted her back, this had been going on for a while and I had been talking her through it but then I get a text from her saying she misses him(which is actually normal) but I started panicking thinking what will I do if she goes back to him? then the darkness started to come in, I wanted to murder him so he wouldn’t hurt her or anyone else again (my therapist told me that this was actually normal with cases like mine but when the darkness comes it is terrifying to think what I could be capable of) I ended letting a part of this ruthless rage overcome me and told her the harsh reality of the situation saying that he didn’t love her and if he did hitting her was a fucked up way of showing it, I’d read books about being in abusive relationships and told her the similarities to them in her case. I thought she would be mad at me that she would say I’m lying and go back to him but she didn’t… she thanked me and said she appreciated what I’d said and I was surprised because I’ve never done the ‘be cruel to be kind’ and expected her to hate me for it but she doesn’t in fact we started talking about auditioning for a show together…

This post is already really long and I have more to tell you so I decided to split this into two parts. Part 2 coming soon

Artist: Unknown

Thank you for reading,

NI2M ❤

Learning to be vulnerable

I used to be a lot more open about my emotions; I could cry, laugh and yell when I needed to, admittedly the crying and yelling was in an unhealthy amount, In hindsight this was probably due to my BPD but my point is I didn’t have such a big guard up around me.

You see this behavior got me singled out as “emo” “weak” and “strange” and I was bullied for it when all I had been was vulnerable and in our world being vulnerable is considered the same as weak and sharks like to take advantage of this “weakness”

This bullying led to me having panic attacks, crying and self harming almost every night, keep in mind this bullying was added to trauma from assault, abandonment and being a young carer for my sister who has autism basically I already thought my life was pretty shit even before the bullying and the exposure to such things gives your brain a right battering, hence making you more vulnerable.

I understand now that the bullies were most likely going through some shit themselves but instead of letting themselves be vulnerable, they put on a front and took out their issues on people like me who were more expressive with their vulnerability.

After a while I “toughened up” but for me that meant bottling up the tears and the anger; not letting myself be honest about my feelings and this clashed with my values of being true to yourself and being honest, this only encouraged my self harm as I took on the bully mentality and would basically bully myself for feeling like crying for “stupid” reasons.

I learned yesterday how truly unhealthy this “toughen up” attitude is and got me thinking we should be more encouraging for people to show their emotions and let people be vulnerable sometimes. I’ve spoken about this before where I’ve said that schools could do more to help children and young people understand mental health, teaching them how to not only help others with difficulties but themselves as well. There are so many lessons that can be taught on how to express our emotions in a healthy way instead of hurting ourselves and/or others.

Yesterday was the first time I let my guard down in a setting I considered unsafe to do so and nothing really happened; the counsellor gave me some tissues and let me talk things out, I then went to the bathroom to clean myself up and grabbed myself some chocolate and a cuppa tea. So I relied more on myself than I did the counsellor which is empowering but the counsellor helped because she didn’t make me feel judged and I felt safe to be vulnerable with her and that’s how a school, college and busy workplace should feel SAFE.

  • Safe to be yourself
  • Safe to be vulnerable
  • Safe to be honest

I learned that vulnerability isn’t weak, in healthy amounts its good to let your guard down to truly communicate to people your needs. Honestly if I saw one of my bullies cry I wouldn’t hurt them how they hurt me, I would help them and let them know the safety they need to be vulnerable and hope that my compassion would promote their sense of compassion not just for others but themselves as well.

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤️

 

 

 

 

I’m destroying her…

Recently I haven’t been able to get the help I need, The Mental Health Services have let me down yet again. So I took matters into my own hands and started making positive changes. I’ve been exploring my spirituality (crystals, card readings, law of attraction) and incorporating it into my everyday life which seems to make me happy in the moment but anxiety keeps creeping in, wanting things to go back to how they were and I get so annoyed because I know these changes are good but there’s still part of me that’s scared… why?

Well on a very long car journey I was listening to this song (link below) and then I realized It’s the broken part of me (the traumatized part that has been hurt, beaten and broken) that’s scared because I’m basically pushing her out by getting rid of the old and replacing it with the new, like she never existed.

She’s scared because she thinks I’m destroying her, she’s crying out because she doesn’t want me to abandon her like so many others have (they say pain demands to be felt) I’m on a journey to be better, at first I thought it was to do with being perfectly positive and pushing out the “bad” feelings but I realize now that by being so strict on myself I’m hurting that hurt part of me more.

She is a part of me, who I was and who I will become and if I want to learn self love, I must first learn self acceptance and it includes her. I need to listen to her and remind her that she is loved and it’s okay. We’ll be okay.

Thank you for reading,

NI2M ❤

TRIGGERED

I spend a lot of my spare time on the internet which has been both a blessing and a curse. What I wanted to talk about was #triggered, now, most of you may think of this as a mental health thing. Something happens that makes you remember past trauma and causes you distress but now thanks to the wonders of the internet it has become a meme/joke to say that someone is offended when the two are different things.

It got me thinking that a lot of the times online, people who are genuinely triggered or trigger warnings are made fun of as being overly sensitive or a “special snowflake”. I think this whole thing came about to make fun of people on Tumblr and SJWs (social justice warriors)

I’m wondering if stuff like this is what stops me from talking about being triggered when I truly I am, for fear people won’t take me seriously. For example I was scrolling through Instagram a while back and came across this drawing someone had done (I won’t describe it) that had triggered me. There was no trigger warning, no “nsfw” sign just the image and a note below it saying “if you don’t like it, keep scrolling” but it was too late I saw it. I tried to push past it, deleted it from my feed  and just kept scrolling like they said but I saw something else just like it and I just couldn’t, I deleted the app feeling scared, angry and ashamed.

I wanted to report the drawings but I was afraid of people saying I was too sensitive or that I have no right to censorship and stuff like that, but it was really messed up like why would someone draw something so… I don’t even know how to describe it but because of it memories and old feelings came back to me and that night I had a nightmare linked to all of it.

There are people who I can’t even hear the names of now because I attach them to feeling of intense anxiety or rage. There was a time where I felt pressured to do something I was really uncomfortable with and because of my past experiences I felt sick with fear and thought I was going to have a panic attack. When I told them this, they didn’t take me seriously, they thought I was joking ( why would I joke about something like that?) And that made me feel worse. I fell out with them shortly afterwards and now my brain links them to anxiety and anger. Whenever they are mentioned that memory is brought back to me and I start shaking, wanting to cry while also feeling so furious. Does anyone else know a person who affects them like this? Is it normal for someone like me?

Thanks for reading, NI2M ❤

Between Two Worlds

My Neurofeedback treatment is almost over but I don’t believe that the recovery process is. There is still some things I need to deal with such as my symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress and OCD, things I am hopefully going to get psychological help for with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) sometime this year.

Basically I feel like I’m in possibly the scariest part of recovery where I’m better than I was at the start but still not where I need to be. I think about it as two worlds, One that has all my old relationships, behaviours and coping mechanisms and then the other which is yet to be explored but contains (hopefully) better relationships and behaviours. The new, mentally healthier, me. The way I see it, I’m in the space between, where I’m moving on from the old world but haven’t arrived at the new one.

This scares me because I’m having to let go of things I once knew while also not knowing whats next. I mean I’m taking steps to this new world such as learning employability skills so I can get a job I’m trying different things to discover more about myself and make new friends. At the moment nothing is settled, I don’t have a job, an established identity or any concrete new friends.

I am however doing some things better, I’m facing fears, letting go of things I know are bad for me and constantly learning. Everything is hanging in the balance I don’t have my old support system or coping mechanisms, I’m having to learn to do without them and find new ones. There’s no going back now only forward to the unknown…

 

Thank you for reading, NI2M 🙂 ❤