I have always felt like I had a “base mood”, which is the state I’m in. Depressive, hypomanic, stable. I noticed that there was kind of an “atmospheric mood”, which was a wispy, temporary mood state that would come through. I’ve always characterized this as weather.
This emotional weather is just about as predictable as meteorological weather. Forecasts can go out based on current information and predictable outcomes. But, things can change quickly, and suddenly, storms crop up. Unfortunately, they don’t make an emotional barometer. There are no external instruments to sound an alarm on the emotional accuweather forecast.
I considered the weather to be just regular “moods”. I know one thing that is difficult for all people who have bipolar disorder is to draw the line between typical and symptomatic. It becomes a nearly impossible task when a person is actually symptomatic. That’s why it’s considered a disorder.
Over the last three years, I’ve become pretty familiar with episodic behavior. I cannot always identify it straight away. But, eventually, I tease it out. What I encountered in January was genuine symptoms, starting with an ultradian cycle I wasn’t even aware of until I reviewed my logs.
What I started to experience toward the end of that depressive episode was uncharacteristic. I hadn’t experienced those types of symptoms in some time. It didn’t look as if it was a coincidence that my mood chart started jumping at the same time my marriage got thrown on the rocks. And now, two months later, I’ve seem to hit some semblance of a period of stability coinciding with the start of my husband’s admissions and treatment.
He broke the silence. Now, I’m breaking it too.
Criteria 1: Fear of abandonment:
My fear of abandonment isn’t typically characterized, because of the keen awareness of the consequences. My fear is very real. The frantic efforts are a little unusual. It’s not outwardly frantic, because I know that behavior actually drives people away. Instead, I take huge strides to make myself more appealing. That feeds into the destabilization of self-image.
There’s a hidden switch, though. At some point, when I’m overloaded with anxiety, I shut down. I will shut down on a person, and it will be over. It will be difficult for me to feel anything for them until they have been out of my life for awhile, or they take a big leap of faith to me.
This disrupts my ability to make friends. I keep everyone at a distance, because I know that I will drive them away. I know that I am intense and strange. And I know that most people are passing ships in my life.
Criteria 2: Unstable Relationships and intense relationships:
I’ve been in a serious relationship with two different psychopaths, one diagnosed (Avi, the abusive one), and I’m now in a marriage with a man with MI. I always swore that these men found me. I think it was a little bit of both.
But, the catch about my marriage is however intense it is, it is stable. Go outside my romantic relationships. Looking at the intense dysfunction between my parents and me tells the tale.
Those people hurt me. And yet, I still love them. I hate them for everything, but I still vacillate between pandering for their affections and shutting them out. I know that they had their hand in this. And still, I blame it exclusively on myself.
Criteria 3: Identity Disturbance:
I used to dye my hair everytime I had a serious mood shift. When my first ex and I broke up, it shattered my whole world. And I said “F*ck the world.” At that point, I let go of everything. It was at that point in time that I started partying my life away.
That wasn’t me. I was a control freak. I always wanted control of my reality. I wanted control of the direction of my life and was always goal oriented.
My ex, Avi, was the worst agitation. I let him tell me who I was, what I should and shouldn’t be doing, and how I should live my life. I let him victimize me, because he told me I was a victim.
C.S. helped me find my way back to me. The me that I liked and was used to. The me that read, wrote, played music, and enjoyed artistic expression, not mindless video games. He helped me find my way back to goal-orientation and showed me that he could love me. That was the only reason I could even be me. Because that’s what he loved.
Criteria 4: Impulsivity:
After I had experienced sexual assault for the first time, I had come to the conclusion that I was a slut. So, I started to act like a slut by having sex with any man who looked at me sideways. I wanted to convince myself that I was at least good for something.
I have alcoholism. It is mostly controlled now. That’s no secret.
Now, here’s the big secret. I likely have an eating disorder. In times of serious distress, I deny myself food. I don’t deserve to eat. I’m a fatass. No one loves a fatass.
I have pindged and purged. It’s not often. In times of depression and self-depreciating behavior, I will binge to feel good. And then I’ll purge, because I worry about my weight. But worse than that. I’ll purge, because getting rid of that overstuffed feeling feels good. There is no better feeling than an empty belly.
I would excessively spend. But, you can’t spend without money in the bank. As a teen, I used to shoplift. And I got caught and got in the worst trouble of my life with my parents. I get the impulse now and again, but the fear and embarrassment is enough to keep me from doing it.
Criteria 5: Recurrent Suicidal / Self-Injurious Behavior:
Admittedly, as a teen, I was more satisfied with cutting with a steak knife than a razor. A razor was too easy, and the cuts were always thin, sleek, and healed without incident. The serrated knife left jagged cuts that never healed right.
I used to pick at the scabs. I only recently started scraping them with a luffa.
I take scalding showers for two reasons. First, there is the whole germ part. But, secondly, sensitive skin burns easily. Scrub it with a luffa, and it flakes and peels. It hurts so nicely, I can’t think about anything else.
I don’t ever threaten. I warn. Because I know certain stressors will set it off.
I used to attempt suicide. I have probably a dozen serious attempts under my belt. I probably have about a dozen more half-assed attempts where I hoped I’d die of alcohol poisoning. Or, if I let an infection go long enough, I’d cause organ failure. (I almost did that with my kidneys that started as a UTI).
I don’t anymore. It’s pointless. I have never come close to succeeding. And I’m convinced that there is a reason for that. Besides, I’m not so cruel as to leave my husband and son like that. Not now. My son is old enough to remember me. My husband might actually go down with me, although he’s never indicated as much.
Criteria 6: Affective Instability
Rage. I’m almost always irritable. I’ve always thought that irritability and reactivity were hallmarks of bipolar disorder. I was wrong.
I have bouts of intense anxiety. Especially when I feel like I’m not in control. It is expressed in OCD-like symptoms when it goes critical. I start hoarding. Or purging items. I check constantly. I do mental checks. I fear contamination.
Dysphoric moods. It’s always been suicidal ideation in the past. It’s only recently that I’ve had homicidal ideation, and it’s enough to scare me. But, I don’t imagine harming loved ones. No, I imagine harming people who are a perceived threat to my family and me.
That emotional weather, that was affective instability. When it produces serious storms, it becomes separate from bipolar disorder completely. Layered moods.
Criteria 7: Chronic Feelings of Emptiness:
Curiously, I don’t have the typical definition of this. Most of the time, I feel too full. I’m full of emotion, turmoil, life. I’m bursting at the seams.
But, if you examine the criteria a little closer, it can be characterized by never feeling good enough. I’m bad. I have never achieved anything noteworthy. No one really loves me. I feel as if I am worthless, rather than empty.
Criteria 8: Inappropriate Anger / Difficulty Controlling Anger
Sometimes, yes. I have a temper. I try to be careful at expressing this anger. It’s usually restricted to times when I am alone. I scream. I break things.
I don’t want to scare my family. I don’t want the shame and guilt I would suffer from such impulsive, inappropriate behavior. I don’t want anyone to leave me, because they fear me. I try so hard to practice restraint. I’m not always very successful.
Criteria 9: Transient, Stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions, or severe dissociation symptoms
This was the key to finally prove the potential for BPD to me. I’ve always had delusions. I’ve always had the berating voice. But, my paranoia has always turned out to be justified in the end.
When C.S. and I were very rocky, I was convinced that a man, who I would never otherwise suspect, was cheating on me. The voice separated into a an auditory hallucination, free of any rational mind, feeding me horrible things. I had my first real break from reality.
But, it was in fits that never lasted longer than a few hours to maybe a few days. And it could be broken by immediate distraction.
I’m nowhere near as volatile as I used to be. Medication has tamed my symptoms, and nearly domesticated me. There are a lot of behaviors that I don’t engage in anymore.
But, I am a far cry from ridding myself of all of them. And if I keep going on this course of alienating people, disabling my supports, and self-sabatoging, I’m going to end up in a very bad place.
So, I made an impulsive move yesterday morning. Finally, a good one. I called and made an appointment to start meeting with a qualified professional with an objective eye. I could’ve gotten in today, but my hours are restricted right now due to work.
So, next Thursday. In one week, I will take my first baby steps back into the world of therapy. Honestly, I don’t have high hopes. Thankfully, I have a number of therapists to choose from. And if it doesn’t work out, at least I gave it a try.
I want to keep trying and not get discouraged. But, I’m so picky about my professionals. I know there has to be some hope for recovery.
I appreciate your honesty and willingness for self-disclosure. I can relate to almost everything you wrote.
The worst part is, that’s only a part of the picture. There are things I’m still having difficulty owning up to. Especially the potential idealization / devaluation thing. I can’t even get past those words.
I don’t have an all or nothing mentality about everything. And the world is not completely black and white. There are so many shades of grey. And that’s what makes life confusing.
But, I do know one thing that’s been constant since I was a kid. Things have to be a certain way. I don’t do change very well. With the exception of the change being completely in my control.
I’m glad you have made that appointment. Like I’ve said, this you can not do by yourself. Im very proud that you made that move. You are amazing how you can sort out your feelings and moods and express them so well. I envy that. I think that is a strength in you that helps you along. Take it a day at a time and dont over analyse things too much. I hope you have a positive day with no extra stress.
Thank you. I’m kinda blushing.
I’m stubborn, and it’s always either been a really good thing, or a very bad thing. It depends on where I put all of that rigidity. So, when I was against therapy, it was hurting me. I’m not all for it now or anything. I’m still completely ambivalent. And to be completely honest, I already have certain preconceptions.
In my direct experience, and observation of other’s experience, I have narrowed therapists down to several practicing types. I had a friend whose therapist enabled him. He was a jackass with a drug problem, but he was pretending to be a little, anxious boy. And she just basically petted him and told him that it was okay for a young man to be sensitive. Ugh. If only she knew.
Anyway, there are others. The one I had the longest was the “buddy” therapist. She was the kind that was everyone’s confidant and related her own experiences to mine. It was comforting at first, because I was a teen. As I grew into an adult, I became furious. First, therapy was supposed to be making me better, and building coping skills. Second, how the hell could she possibly have any idea? Three years later, all of these pills and “treatments” and I was still screwed up. She looked like she was doing just fine.
Then there’s the “authoritarian” therapist that acts like a scolding parent. I don’t deal with those at all. How dare she judge me and my life?! She’s not my parent, and she can’t tell me what to do.
Then there’s the patronizing one that attempts to validate every feeling and action. No, there are some things I feel that are inappropriate and there are some things that I do that are inappropriate. The whole reason why I was going was because I wanted to get rid of that happening all of the time.
The one who cares too much, who pries and violates personal space. Those are usually the people who touch me. No, if I don’t know, know a person, it is not okay to touch me.
And then there’s the one that cares too little. That’s the therapist that sits back and nods and says, “Uh-huh.” That’s not listening, that’s hearing. I want someone to provide feedback, not just nodding. If I wanted nodding, I would talk to a bobble head. It won’t cost me more than $10 for hundreds of sessions.
I’d love to give the hilarious name of my therapist, but it’s a security breach. Let’s just say it reminded me of Dr. Katz, and I’m not sure if I can take her seriously. Haha!
But seriously. I’m giving her two sessions to wow me, and I’m moving on.
I understand what you mean. I started to mention it in my comment before. You need a very professional person who knows his/her stuff. Because 9 out of 10 are just there for their own entertainment. with all the different features you are experiencing it is imparaitive that you talk to someone who is really serious about what they are doing and that is helping you help yourself. Don’t waste your time on silly clown acts. Search for the real thing.
Oh and yeah, because the last one was so long, I started a second. As it goes with identifying feelings and things, that’s just years of obsessing about it. I didn’t go to college for psychology exclusively because I have a Dx. But, yeah, it was a factor. I’m more interested in the human mind and the way things function and how dysfunction occurs and can be maintained. That was a run-on sentence. I don’t care right now.
As a child, I kind of grew up in this internal world. When I became a teen, I started becoming more aware of the people around me. But, I still lived in my head. When I became symptomatic, and I can still remember it was over a period of time, I became fascinated with the mind. Why are people the way the are? And what made them that way?
Childhood development and personality development were my favorite subjects in college, aside from the overview of abnormal human behavior (disorders and such in brief).
Anyway, when things went wrong in my brain, and after so much time suffering with it, I wanted to know why. Why was I who I was? Why did I feel like there was a huge hunk of me that didn’t feel like a part of me? And why couldn’t I fix it?
This is a result of the course of fifteen years of study, obsessing, theories, observation, therapies, medications, and observation of others. I have sorted a lot of it out. My emotions, yes. The mechanisms? No. Mostly because it all but kills me to acknowledge the behaviors.
I’d never admit it if I didn’t have to. You know, I considered just living with it. As harmful as some of these behaviors are, they work for me. And that’s how I know I’m really sick. Because for some reason, I can’t convince myself that it’s bad for me and toxic for everyone around me. Even when I know it is, because I’ve seen the consequences with my own eyes.
For instance, the whole self-harm element. In a sick, twisted way, it’s an art form. What kind of scar can I create? Will it stay with me or is it temporary? What instrument of torture hurts the most, the least, is the hardest to use, etc, etc. It’s not like all of this thought is conscious at the time. It’s after thoughts. It’s all retrospect in times when I’m unwell.
In times when I’m well, I am so embarassed by all of this. I can’t even believe that I really think and do these things. And I convince myself that it’s isolated. That I don’t need to worry about it. And then, I forget these ugly thoughts. That’s why a person either really has to solicit me for this information, or they have to catch me in a state when I have those thoughts, but I’m not yet paranoid. Rarities.
it is scary but I can relate to some of what you are saying but not necessarily using quite the same ways. I don’t know how I became that way, it also started when I was just a kid but I know that now that I am older, it seems to have faded quite a bit. But I have always been obsessed with human behavior, my behavior, my abnormalties, and what they mean, my pain both physical and mental. Anyway were not talking about me here. But it is just weird like you have opened something up in me. I am sure though that it wouldn’t solve your issues by anaylising it all yourself, surely it won’t be acurate. You know you are going to need to be prescribed meds from someone. too.
I wasn’t physically aware of myself until I was well into my teens. I mean, I always knew I was fat. And the kids had no problem pointing that out. But as for the rest of it, I lived in my head. My body was just the vessel that kept my mind and my spirit.
It wasn’t until after my first ex and I broke up that I started to get an idea about it. And more like, I got an idea of what men wanted me to be, and I wasn’t it.
I’m not bothered by my slight flaws, but I’m well aware of them. They don’t bother me anymore, because I don’t let anyone close enough to me to see them. Physically and mentally.
That’s becoming a problem.
well Im the same way. when I was growing up, I had a lazy eye and everyone made fun of me. I learned to distance myself from it. I never looked in the mirror and when people said things, I ignored them and tried to make myself believe it wasn’t me. My dad begged me to get an operation on it to fix it butI was afraid of that. He knew how important it would be to me later and offered me 500 dollars if I would do it. I think I was 12 at the time.So I did. But it took a while to take I guess and people strill made fun of me. They were the same people I had been growing up with. But I eventually got contacts and my mother quit taking me to her friend to get my hair cut with a straight razor. I finally got a good hair cut and picked out some clothes myself and I ended up being really pretty. So,late teens through most of my adult life. I had no problems getting attention. Then after my divorce I learned how to treally get attention. Then after everything fell apart, namely me, I had to go on meds and I got really fat. My eyes looked crazy and my hair got crazy looking. I have gotten myself decent looking now and lost a lot of the weight and stuff. But because of the circumstances of why I had the breakdown and the place I worked at was the biggest industry in town, and that I was hideous lookin, I became a total hermit. Even now that I can look fairly normal, just the fact of how I know people are, I want no part of them, I love just being alone. it is so much safer for my mind. But it isn’t the solution. I have an idea that you think a lot less of yourself than you are. Think of how badly you see things compared to what they really are?
“I love just being alone. It is so much safer for my mind.”
I’d like to say the same. I would prefer to be alone. But, when I’m alone, I’m alone with myself. In a bad state, that’s a recipe for disaster. And I can usually recognize when I want to be alone vs. when my head wants me to be alone. When I’m alone, there is a greater chance that I’m going to lose a touchstone back to reality.
Some days, I could actually call myself attractive now. I lost enough weight that a person who hasn’t seen me in a couple months can tell. Hell, I can tell.
I look at my reflection, and I can see the differences. The fact that I have a neck that I never really knew was there. When I put my arm against my side, it doesn’t fan out so much anymore. My hips don’t touch my arms when my arms are at my side. (Little hips, big shoulders). I have a collar bone. And for the very, very first time ever, I laid down on the sofa, and put my phone on my lower abdomen – I could see it pulsing. I could actually see my heartbeat from the artery.
Life, as I get smaller, changes. Suddenly, I’m able to do things I wasn’t able to do anymore. Like touch my toes. Stand on one leg for longer than a minute. I’m more flexible. My body feels less awkward and clumsy. I’ve been clumsy my whole life. Imagine what it feels like to suddenly feel like you can be physically in sync with the world.
I can jump. I mean really jump far. I can run for a bus without getting winded. I can run a flight of stairs without my legs getting tired.
It is empowering. Before, I just sullenly accepted that I was doomed to live a life being overweight. There are certain limitations with that. Now, I’ve proven that if I set my mind to something (reasonable) and I try really, really hard, I really can make it happen.
I had to try really, really hard. Arguably, potentially eating disorder hard. Counting calories, restricting calories, calculating what my caloric allowance would be, and how much exercise would be required to burn all of the days calories, and then some. Just because I knew I needed to go a little extra, because weight doesn’t come off of me easily.
I just wish I could say I was doing it entirely for me. Yes, I am extremely embarassed by that admission. Because all of this is going to completely change the way people think of me.
I’m glad to hear that you are seeking therapy and I wish you the best of luck in finding a good therapist. I’ve have my long list of bad therapists or therapists that couldn’t handle me, but I lucked out around here. I found a good one (through my PC) and she helped me with a lot of stuff. When she went out on maternity leave, I had a different one who was OK, but we really didn’t click. Now I’m with an intern. She is new but learning quickly. I like her a lot. I really wish she didn’t have to graduate – I would like to keep her as my regular therapist. I’m going to check and see if she may be staying on with this group.
It’s difficult to find a good therapist, but once you do, they are worth gold.
I have a problem with therapists, kind of like I have a problem with friends and lovers. The abandonment, you know?
With friends and lovers it’s different. Part of it is the actual idea of severance and the emotional pain that causes. I don’t have that with therapists, because I know how to keep it on a professional level. The pain comes from a different place.
Therapists, even ones that aren’t for MI, are supposed to transition clients into new care and programs and stuff. I’ve never had that happen. The one I saw the longest was too much of coward to even tell me to my face, or even on the phone. She left a message with my mother.
The one I had considered seeing at the start of my treatment told me during my intake that she’d be happy to take me on and help me work it out. I missed an appointment. Two weeks later, she called and left me a voicemail that her internship was over. Now why would you even try to take someone on when you know you can’t be there?
I feel like, if I’m divulging very private, intimate details of my life, a practitioner should at least stick around. Or have the decency to transition me to someone they know will help me out. If I all but maim myself to get these things out, then I should see some effort from the other end. They should be committed to it if they expect me to commit.
I hate sitting here scrutinizing. Because that whole rant I went through was proof positive that I do have some all or nothing thinking. Is that so wrong to ask, though? Especially with someone who knows how fragile a client can be.
I won’t give up if she sucks. I’ll give it a couple more shots. But, I can’t idealize a therapist.
But, I will anyway, right? So here goes. My ideal therapist knows when to jump in and when to sit back. My ideal therapist knows how to gently underscore important things to me. My ideal therapist is a realist, who realizes that I will screw up, and makes me feel like I didn’t completely screw everything up when I take a tumble. My ideal therapist points out good behaviors without soliciting them. My ideal therapist expects nothing, and accepts everything.
My ideal therapist talks to me like a normal adult would talk to me. Not with the “therapy” voice. Not with the “kid” voice. We just talk. My ideal therapist will never use the exact phrase, “How does that make you feel?” I feel enraged at the phrase. My ideal therapist will never push. My ideal therapist will do everything to stop from triggering those terrible feelings I get when I sense a social rejection. And my ideal therapist will do everything to help me eliminate those triggers and tame those reactions.
I could probably think of a dozen more. That’s just a few core elements I don’t think I could do without.
It’s very hard to find the ideal therapist, but I think you can find one that is close. You may have a hard time finding someone who won’t say, “How does that make you feel?” because I think that’s something drilled into their skulls from the beginning of their career. (You might want to mention that it’s a trigger phrase for you at your intake interview – it might help.) My ideal therapist is #1) not an idiot, #2) supportive, and #3) gentle when pointing out things. I really can’t stand idiots. I had a pdoc once tell me not to bother with therapy because I am too smart for it. I think he was wrong – I’m not “too smart” for therapy, but I need an intelligent therapist or it becomes a waste of time and money.
I’ve had a rough time with therapists throughout the years, but this office has been very good for me. They state up front that if it isn’t working for you then it isn’t working for you and they will match you with a different therapist in their office if you want to try that. No hard feelings. The three that I have been through in the last year are all out of the same office. I wouldn’t have lost my first therapist so quickly if she didn’t stop to have a baby. My first therapist is one of the owners, and she’s only working part-time since she came back from maternity leave. My second therapist only works part-time as well, but I really didn’t care for her anyway. I was a little concerned about working with an intern at first, but she is turning out to be fairly good. An internship (in this state) requires that they take a certain number of non-paying patients and right now I can’t afford therapy, hence, I get the intern. I told her when we met that I’m her “charity case” but she said that wasn’t true – however, I know it’s partially true.
As for your situation, the intern you were seeing should have told you upfront that she was an intern and would only be with the office for a certain amount of time. That was wrong. It irks me to think a healthcare “professional” would act so unprofessional. What about the office she was working for? Did they do anything for you?
I have abandonment issues too and I get really upset with myself for trusting someone once I feel that they have abandoned me. Personal, professional, or otherwise. Even in situations where I shouldn’t expect anything like online or acquaintances or games (one of the many reasons I no longer play online games). Trust is a valuable commodity and one I give out too easily sometimes leading me to get hurt often. I either trust too much or not at all. So yeah, I know all about abandonment. 😦
The office did nothing for me. Because I missed the one appointment with her before she left, they were basically like, “Well, you didn’t want therapy bad enough anyway.” The only reason I “don’t want therapy” is because I have little faith in the people that deliver it. I believe in it, when applied properly. Of course I would, I studied it. I’ve ready dozens of case studies and have put it in action with my students.
Anyway, I don’t believe that everyone knows how to apply it correctly. There are a lot of therapies that prove to be effective for different things and different people. I really believe ABA works well with practically everyone. However, since I am aware of how it works, I’m not sure if I could handle it from a therapist. I would probably find it patronizing and demeaning, like I’m a child or something. (Perceived slights.)
Yeah, even my online relationships become important to me. And I realize that I have this quality where I don’t want to hurt anyone like I hurt. So, I try my best not to “abandon” anyone, or make them feel unloved or dismissed.
But, it doesn’t work so well in face to face relationships. Perceived slights, persecution, paranoid delusions, I just expect that when a person comes to know me, they won’t like me. I expect that I am not significant enough for anyone to emotionally invest in me. Why should they? I will inevitably damage and potentially destroy them.
Or, reverse it. I expect a person to betray me. I wait for it. I wait for the disapproval when a person starts to see the cracks, before I’ve even revealed any. I expect to be judged and held to a certain standard. And when I fail to be the person they expected, they bail.
Most people see me, even when they see glimpses of the real me, and they adore the idea of me. Something wild, unexpected. Someone that takes them off the beaten path and into a world of wilderness. But, it was just an idea. The reality was nothing like the fantasy.
And I thought I had a tendency to idealize things!
So, I expect people to be enamored with the novelty, but cruelly reject the real, intense nature of what I am.
God Lulu, your experience reads startlingly similar to how I’ve experienced these episodes, symptoms, what-have-yous…
I read something last night about BPD pharmacological treatment, and I agree. What I couldn’t understand is why I became wildly symptomatic again. Apparently, there’s a thing called, “breakthrough” symptoms. It’s just behaviors that the medicine can’t correct. Because medicine doesn’t correct behaviors themselves.
So, I’m cruising along just fine, you know, and bam!
I’m getting a little discouraged. It seems like every single time I’ve actually volunteered myself to see a therapist, I end up with a counselor or a social worker. My “counselor” apparently specializes in family therapy. My family is not going to therapy. This is about me.
And I’ve read some discouraging reviews. I though, “Oh 27 years in practice. That shows some promise.” And then I saw the ratings. A half a star for bedside manner? I don’t think this woman and I are going to get along.
Then, then again, if she’s a total jerk in just the right way, it would probably be enough for me to have a freakout in the office. Because my problem in the past is that though I describe symptoms, I am usually unable to act out in public without extreme provocation.
Lulu, I repeat myself a lot, you’ll have to forgive me. 😉
I know what you mean about not landing a therapist that works. I don’t have insurance because of my immigration situation so I have to seek out community places or those schools, so I’ve always gotten either the university counselors (when I was still in college) and just recently my Young Therapist who is a grad student finishing up her residency practice. She’s the one that I’ve gotten along with best, but even then I feel she was too methodological. It might have been good for me though. I got the most out of her and she’s the one that I got the BPD Dx from.
It’s funny, I actually have higher hopes for therapy than I do for psychiatric treatment. All my psychiatrists have been close to shit. I had a major breakdown last monday–SEVERE–I think part of it was switch of meds and my psych hasn’t called me back. Again, I have no options on who I see, so in a way I’m glad I’m getting to see anyone at all–guess my case is severe enough for me to be taken up against so many others….
It’ll be ok. Lulu, remember to breathe.
I got this just in time, I swear.
I was summoned to appear at a work function tonight, a few months ago. I am not fond of work functions. Building relationships for me is difficult. I establish thick boundary lines, sometimes so pronounced that I have difficulty crossing them on any occasion. This creates so much anxiety for me.
So, I’m here. The thing starts in an hour, and I am hardly motivating myself to go put my contacts in, so I can get a shower and move along. I have been obsessing over what the whole trigger for this meltdown was.
I got my answer today. My husband has been busy putting up blinds and curtains. It makes it possible for us to see figures outside, but we can’t see who it is. Someone came to the door. In times past, I’ve been so freaked out by unannounced visitors, my husband has taken care to answer doors and calls and things. He freaked. I freaked. And finally, I was tired of the freakout. The person behind the door couldn’t possibly be more alarming than the alarm that happened.
And it wasn’t. It was just a friend of a friend who needed to borrow something. Simple as that.
And my mind put it together. My husband has been there more than I thought. He took care to maneuver around certain triggers for years. It was never really identified by either. I don’t like answering the door, and I despise placing calls. I always got really upset when he was late getting home, or any other disruptions.
Now, he’s unwell. Now, I’m forced into a ton of triggering situations. Last night, he asked if it was okay if he went out with some co-workers. Well, if you’ve been reading, you know about previous (and now kind of current) paranoia surrounding him and a co-worker. I gulped it down and said yes.
When he was more than 15 minutes late to call when he told me he was going to leave, I got upset. I told myself to wait. It was nearly a half an hour before he even mentioned he was alive, still not providing me with a time. So I had to ask. Another fifteen rolled by until he answered, “Soon”. And then another 45 until he announced that he’d be leaving when the check came. And then another 20 after that until I received a call.
Tallied up. An hour and 45 before a call. I decided to go for a run after the “Soon.” Soon couldn’t mean soon, I knew. It didn’t. I went for a three mile run where I stopped by the pharmacy and the grocery store before there was a call. And by then, I was livid.
I know I was unreasonable. And I know I should have enough going on in my life to probably not care or notice or something. I was really upset. Angry, dismissed, upset about how he didn’t even seem to notice, and even more upset about how little difference it seemed to make to him.
I was in the middle of a really good part of the run, and he called. I ignored it, and growled, “Chew on that, motherfucker.” It was time for him to wonder about me. And I didn’t answer for anyone who called until I was in the grocery’s line. (Approximately 5-10 minutes. I only stopped in for one thing.)
And he prances in the house going on and on about the whole thing like it was okay. Two hours late? If I were two hours late – scratch that. Two hours late would never happen. I’d be severely harassed within the first half an hour that I’d be forced to come home by some dire emergency and then chewed out for the rest of the night.
It got me thinking. Is he borderline? He has this blatant disregard for anyone but himself sometimes. He can have abusive tendencies, but he doesn’t realize it. Sometimes, it looks as if he has personality shifts when he’s emotional. And he has persistant, terrible anxiety.
It’s quite possible Lulu. A common symptomatic expression is to not consider other’s feeling at a moment of intense reaction (i.e. an affective episode). It’s only afterwards that the person feels empathic, sad or guilty about how their actions must’ve affected others. Of course, I don’t agree 100% with that, but I do see what they mean by it.
I had thought the same thing about L. My only sort-of-ex and best friend who died in March. It’s so strange… I had a difficult time setting boundaries with him. I often thought he had BPD and I had BP and that’s why our relationship was so tumultuous and intense.
Oh god, how many times have I done the “I’ll let him/her worry about me now” after someone has me worried after not calling and promising they would…
Anyway, look what I found
I’ve always kind of known about the theories of BPD being on the BP spectrum. It used to be considered to be on the schizophrenic spectrum.
After some convincing observations made on psycheducation.org (I think that’s the address), I believe there is a significant overlap. There are a lot of people who would like to have the disorder renamed “emotional dysregulation disorder” or something of the sort, from what I’ve been reading lately. From what I’ve personally discovered, I agree. But, I definitely see the idea that it is the “border between neuroses and psychosis”, though those are outdated terms.
And now that I’ve looked harder at my mother’s family, I see it. My grandmother’s mother died when she was young from cervical cancer (the same cancer I’ve been battling for years, but the doctors don’t believe there is a genetic suspectibility link). My mother and two of her sisters were placed in foster care when they were very young, but none have a very good memory of it. They were retrieved fairly quickly from what I understand.
And then, there’s my mother. My father and my mother are in a very similar co-dependent relationship as my husband and I. My father’s mother lost her mother duing childbirth. And her father blamed her since. My father had a very unstable childhood, since his parents moved around a lot.
He retained both parents and had surrogate parents of a sort (his “Aunt” Maria and “Uncle” Charles). My father once told me that my husband reminded him of his father. They share a birthday, oddly enough. And my father always claimed his mother and I were completely alike (as much as I despised that comparison, at the his extreme disdain for his mother). No wonder he paired us.
The difference is, my husband is anything but stoic in his most private, and he is very charismatic in public. Maybe my Pappa was the same. I’ll never really know. He passed six years ago, without much note in the family.
Anyhow, back to my mother’s family. My mother has claimed them all to be “neurotic”. And we’re now observing “psychotic”. So – yeah.
Just some ideas. My father has been suggested BP by specialists. My mother goes between idealizing and demonizing. It seems obvious now.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had a few drinks, an intimate talk, and some great sex 😉 TMI? My blog 😛
I hate being vindictive though I realize I tend to have momentary strong urges to until I “snap” out of it. Then comes guilt… Ugh… an unnecessary cycle.
p.s. (yeah another p.s. from me hehe) Here’s a secret, I only allowed myself to eat crackers for about a month during a depressive episode when I was in tenth grade. I made great efforts to hide this. I’ve also binge and attempted to purged bu that’s never worked out well, so I just binge and loath.
After my first ex and I broke up, I was so depressed that I didn’t eat anything at all for a week. I drank instead.
I lost 15 lbs, and had trouble getting back to eating after that. Everything upset my stomach. Don’t worry, I was fine, until I hit college. After my ex dumped me for this 90lb girl that he had been chasing since high school (when we were together), I started that calorie restriction / binging and purging stuff. – I was restricted to 900 calories (before I knew that the base for a woman is 1200) and if I went over, I’d purge.
I’m not so overboard anymore. I learned how to lose weight in a healthy way. I’m nowhere close to underweight. I checked with what my Ob-gyn thought last week. She asked, “How tall are you?” I replied, “5’1″.” And she thought for a second and said, “Yeah, I think 120lbs is a good weight for you.”
So I think to myself, “Is it really an eating disorder?” I’m doing it the healthy way this time, minus some minor incidents of binging and purging. Does getting so nervous that I purge count?
Okay, I’m done qualifying. I know either way I’m attempting to either validate something, or deny something. So, I should stop.
God, my head feels so nutty.
Glad you’re seeking therapy. I feel desperate to get back into therapy after terminating with the Young Therapist who’s moving to San Antonio…
I think I may have already said this, but I don’t have high hopes for this. Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t have high expectations, though I do secretly have high hopes.
I’ve had similar kinds of experiences and know how out of control and scary it feels so I am so very glad to know that you’ve made an appointment to see someone. I’m the same about the professionals that I see (which in therapy I’ve only just realised for me is about my frantic need to control my treatment) but I think it’s worth it in the end if you can find someone you fit with.
Thinking of you and I hope it goes well 🙂
Lulu, I just wanted you to know, I haven’t forgotten you and that you are still in my prayers. I hope things are on their way to impovement (((hugs))). I am having surgery today, but I hope to be able to check back in maybe tomorrow night