It’s not easy struggling with BorderlinePersonalityDisorder and along with that often comes other mental health issues. What is difficult is not getting a proper diagnosis…once that is achieved, the recovery starts.
So many professionals are not skilled or knowledgeable to help persons with this condition. Too many medical professionals overmedicate them to silence them. Once in a blue moon, they will find a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist who gets it and many times that is where the healing begins.
Yet, there are many who never want to get help and see the world as having the problem and not them. They don’t understand why family and friends often withdraw…sometimes to save themselves, other times because they just do not understand. Most of the time it is because they feel awkward and ridden with guilt for not succeeding in making this person happy. Too many times they feel it is their responsibility to maintain this person’s equilibrium and happiness.
Loving a person with this condition is not so hard. Love is love, right? You love with the good and the bad and the in between. It is the self-preservation that takes time to access. It takes a while before you realize it is not always your fault that your friend, lover, sister, brother, cousin, mother or father are upset with you. In fact, it rarely has anything to do with you.
It takes so much energy though. It is so exhausting! When you actually love this person, you ache inside. When this person is confronting you, you are shaking many times and wondering what you could have done better…sooner.
It is a wheel of constant confusion, suffering, guilt and when he or she is happy with you, you feel so good inside but you are still wary of when the axe will fall once more on your head for not being the person he or she needs and expects you to be.
Worrying, ruminating, obsessively imagining scenarios, procrastinating because of those unfounded scenarios and then you finally do what you have to do after spending days or maybe weeks imagining all sorts of “what if’s” and it all turns out just fine! Boy, that really bugs her when she does that. Does that happen to you too sometimes?
Emily calls it overthinking, daydreaming of things that escalate into screenplays that keep her awake and during the day on her days off from work leave her paralyzed.
Lately, Emily has been trying to observe her thinking patterns more, such as what starts that tiny thought that turns into a saga. So far she is noticing that the worrying or dwelling is getting worse and she is not appreciating the “present” enough. She avoids seeing people who may upset her and make me feel guilty about any passed decisions. She does not really avoid friends but she doesn’t reach out to them much either and she knows that is silly because she knows many of her friends would drop everything to be there for her if she asked them. So why the hell does she do this to herself?!
Today she called her friend who flew from overseas and she made travel arrangements to see her on the weekend. She will be seeing another friend in the same city as well. After she hung up the phone after speaking to her friend, she felt so pumped!! It was as if she had just had an shot of serotonin. Really! She was dancing and singing and jumping. She was so happy and relieved to be getting out of her cocoon.
And yet, here she is, two days after that same phone call to her friends, calling to work sick because she just could not get out of bed due to migraines and chronic joint pain. She had only worked one day but with all the changes to her work, she is wondering now…for the past five years if her doctor is not “a bit” right in suggesting she retire.
Emily still has so much drive to go out in the world and still work…either teach or anything that has to do with people. She is actually a people person. Also she cannot afford to retire yet since she has not had the chance to put much money aside and has no company pension. Living off the government pension will be surviving but no more travelling ever. She still wants o visit so many places.
Is it possible some of her problems have to do with her work? And yet, Emily doubts that since she knows she has had bouts of withdrawing even when she was younger and working elsewhere but she did not miss work then. Also her work helps her get her mind off all the past decisions her children blame her. No, it is not just her work but what her work once provided a workaholic, her nature may not have the same stamina it once had. What to do?
Emily has always felt she did not fit anywhere. Growing up she was faced with being told over and over that “her kind” had no place here. Even in her family she often felt displaced. If you thought differently than the rest of the family you were judged, teased or criticized. That part will never change, so it is Emily’s job to not react to it or just steer away, but how do you steer away from people you love?
Her first trip on her own far from her family was eye opening. She could see there was so much to discover and since then she has always felt one foot in her current home and the other ready to run off somewhere but where?
This is where she is now, contemplating on what to do, how to do it and when? Have you ever felt this way before? If you have, how do you manage those thoughts that take over your life?
This is the time when one thinks back on the year that has just passed. For some they may feel they have barely survived this past year, having struggled through many difficult passages and obstacles.
For others it feels like a chore mixed with very brief moments of light to make them smile. Perhaps it is the giggle of their child, or watching an old lady with a hunch back hanging onto the arm of an old man with a cane…watching them shuffle in the mall together, giving them hope.
Some have had a year filled with pleasant surprises…a child has learned to walk, another has made his first goal, a daughter copies you when you put on your make up and whispers in the mirror next to you, “I want to be beautiful just like Mommy!”
Teenagers are faced with a rollercoaster of life mixed with raging hormones and still have to try and concentrate in high school! Imagine a woman in menopause or a man in mid-life crisis trying to learn new things and cope with an ever-changing body! Now add to that, personal strife and home
life that can, for some, be challenging!
There are children and youths of all ages as well as adults who may be passing through difficult times before walking into the realm of a new year; they may be missing a loved one…a sibling, a parent, a grandparent or a spouse either through death, separation or moving far far away. One cannot shake off the grief, the loss and pained memories of this loved one. And one doesn’t! His or her memory walks along with them, stepping into the new year. That person is smiling and laughing when they are happy and weeping when they are sobbing.
Some may find solace in a higher power and an afterlife that comforts them, thinking angels and the Great Spirit have welcomed a new member into their paradise. Others are lost and confused and are not too sure, yet, the memories still hold strong and carry one over to the next day and so on and so forth, day after day, month after month.
remembering sting of loss and regrets untold narratives
Time is often their sole consolation. In time the sting lessens, but the memories of “what was” still keep them company and warm through the cold winter months of January and February. The blossoms, however, are also figments of these memories in springtime turning into new promises. Hang on to some of those memories that soothe you and let the March winds eventually take away any disappointments.
Perhaps someone has promised to be there for them and “life” got in the way, leaving them bereft and empty but mostly disappointed and alone. That may also be an opportunity to depend on one’s own strengths and reach out to different acquaintances, slowly turning them into real friends.
Relationships change as one grows just as their needs do. As a single person, their perception of the world is so very different. As a couple it shifts and blends and as a parent it opens up to a whole different world…someone else matters just as much as they do! One now focuses not only on their individual needs but more importantly on the wellbeing and happiness of their children who are a part of them. Children help them open their eyes to another sphere. Children allow them to grow and open their hearts to “others”. Let’s face it! It is rewarding to give, is it not? And through some of these challenges in life, one also learns to look beyond the people who have received from you and find comfort when someone “new” gives to them…take it, for this is also blessing that person’s need to give.
Change is the only thing one can truly count on in life and with it comes other kinds of losses. It could be the end of a career, a promotion, the end of a relationship or moving to a new home or city. Despite the positive and wonderful aspects of any change, there is still a letting go of a life that was. Embrace it, look at it and only then can you adjust and welcome these new life changes.
untold narratives lost in the wind silenced locked in the heavens angles singing ballads
Wishing you hope, faith and peace in the new year for you and yours.
This is journal entry I wrote today…sharing parts here in case it helps those who suffer chronic pain.
Pain penetrated my every fibre. My chest felt like my duvet was made of iron weighing me away from life. Breathing turned to heaves of a chronic smoker and my head felt like the regular common cold…sinuses squeezed my cheeks like that aged old auntie who never heard the word, no! Nothing to do but call into work and take a sick day…crawling back into bed, my Bette snuggles next to me keeping watch on my breath…in…out, in…out.
Every time I turned over I felt more pain as if I had gone to the gym for a complete workout for the first time in years.
like the common cold hits you when you least expect no cure
It was half passed five and the sun was setting. How wonderful that the days are longer now. I chuckled at the fact that I am getting up at sunset rather than sunrise. Oh well, c’est le monde en envers…who the f cares? My body guides me at times. I know now why I was aching…sort up. I walked a lot yesterday…maybe a bit too much…I vacuumed only half the apartment but the walk was the over exertion. Gawd! I hate this condition…I love to walk for hours…it clears the mind…it ties up so many odds and ends and it feeds my creativity too. Maybe if I lived in a warmer and dryer climate I could manage this so much better.
I know that will never happen at my age nearing retirement with little money set aside…I won’t be able to afford travelling. It’s as if my body needs to live in a desert, now that is odd, non? Does my body remember a past life perhaps?
I am rereading John Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness for Pain and listening to his CD. I need to be reminded how to befriend my pain. I used to be more mindful that my pain was simply a sign I was alive…I can feel!! and to embrace that rather than tense my body and challenge it. So I cuddled with it all night and all day today.
I have already written a Daily Moments post for today, Baby Girl Blessed thinking of my upcoming anniversary…mostly missing my mom. My second birthday without her. Every year until she could no longer remember me or herself, she would repeat the events leading to my birth. Every year, nothing changed in the story…the long walk to her sister, the agitated feeling she had and impatience with my sister who was only two at the time. Her visit to GrandPapa, her father at his workplace, the filtration centre behind the town park.
I used to love going there too later. That is where he pulled my first front tooth before he got sick. I remember the string he tied around my front tooth and the piece of string to the doorknob and then he slammed the door so fast I never felt a thing except my heart jump from the BAM. I wonder how much I got for that tooth I left under my pillow…I used to be half a sleep when I felt a hand slip under my pillow and saw the next day a whole DIME!! That was two bags of chips or two ice cream cones!! I was rich!
Then Mom would say how she did not make it to the hospital and the taxi dropped her off at her mother who was a midwife…lucky me, eh? Imagine being born in a loving home in your grandparents’ bed! All the loving, holding, hugging within seconds I took my first breath. In those days if you were born in hospital you rarely saw your baby for long periods of time and you were in bedridden up to 10 days! I was so lucky to have bonded with my mom as well as GrandMaman.
Yes, missing her and feeling lonely…missing family…just missing being a part of something this weekend…maybe that is why work or volunteering is so important to me…I am a part of something very special. My heart, my mind wanted to be there, but my body forced me to pay attention…feel the pain, befriend it, coddle it, it will stop working against you…and I did…trying to make sense listening to the sounds of silence in my home…
I resist too much your familiar touch a love that throbs
a love that throbs learning new dance steps to our slow dance
It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can’t believe it; you were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to feel the beat
Someone’s deciding whether or not to steal
He opens a window just to feel the chill
He hears that outside a small boy just started to cry
‘Cause it’s his turn, but his brother won’t let him try
It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can’t believe it; you were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to move your feet
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to feel the beat…
People laughing. Some are talking about parties they will be hosting or attending. Others are smiling as they share the cute anecdotes their young children have said as tension is mounting until Santa arrives. Workplaces are bustling with holiday rush deadlines; retailers are on robotic mode trying to exceed their quota for the extra “end of the year” bonus; some are talking about the baking they have been doing for the past few weeks leading to THE Day, anxious to welcome their family and friends. So many caught up in the holiday spirit, it can be contagious yet for others it can be a turn off for some…
Many young children are not so excited about the holidays or rather they have disturbingly mixed feelings. They may welcome the time off to relax or cringe at too much time at home where there is tension and conflict among siblings or between parents. Some worry about the over indulgence of drinking or worse. What about Uncle so and so or Aunt what’s her name? The last time they saw him or her, they still cannot wipe away the memory of what happened… Some children have to become the parent because of the drinking…It’s not always what it’s all cracked up to be.
The holidays can also be just any old day for some because their life is “same ol’- same ol’” and dark clouds are permanent fixtures that hover over them.
Why? it’s relaxin’ and a no brainer. I don’t have to even try to think!
Stop it, I say!! Your brain is turning to mush sitting there, watching flic after flic on the that screen!! Can’t you see?
Oh, is that what it is? “Mush” is it? I thought it was called depression.
Oh…(person silently ducks away)
Ever have a conversation with a friend…well, not a best friend but the many friends and colleagues/peers/classmate, where some have become closer, who confide in you and you sometimes in them, ask you how you are? That conversation above is a snippet on how they can be cut so short, whether you are a student, a worker or person meeting someone at a coffee shop or on the street.
What is the politically correct response when someone appears sad, depressed or mourning a loss for example? Some may say, “Well, you have to be able to listen and be there for the person”. Okay, I can see that happening but for many individuals, there is an internal clock they have and it individually sets an alarm when “enough is enough” to listening. It can go like that snippet above or like this:
How are you doing today? You look kinda glum, what’s going on?
Nothing and everything I guess. I feel a bit lost.
Hmmm, how does that feel to feel lost?
I’m sorry it’s been so challenging for you lately.
Hmmm, gee I’m sorry! Is there anything I can do…?
Here! have a chocolate that’ll perk you up
Which response would you feel is helpful? Don’t know? You found the real you in one of these? Great! There isn’t really any right or wrong answer…okay, I take that back, saying “buck up” would probably be a no-no. But ultimately what you say is not always what is important but how you say it, how you feel…just be genuine. If you really don’t have time to listen…be careful what you ask to not give the pretense that you have the time to listen because when you open that door and give the impression to someone that you intend to be there to listen for a moment, then slam the door back in their face with a “buck up” or “that’s too bad…umm, I gotta get back to work now.” That is of NO help whatsoever. Don’t pretend…just be real.
For those of you readers who are not too sure what “real” is I have a great book to suggest and it is clear as water flowing in a brook. For the well read and articulate person who comes up with “genuine” or “authenticity”…um, just read the damn book. I am referring to one of my all time favourites, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
child looks up in awe, lines mock her whithered face, snuggling in her arms
A warm smile or a hand on a shoulder left one second longer are examples of “real” holiday blessings. Happy Holidays!
At Mindlovemiserysmenagerie Wordle, we are told to use at least 10 of the above words to create a story or poem (this is a tough one!)The words can appear in an alternate form; we are to use the words in any order that we like. I took a chance and tried them in the same order 1. Bastard 2. Glimpse 3. Rubble 4. Trickle 5. Bonfires 6. Wallow 7. Supplicant (a petitioner, a beggar, a pupil) 8. Tenacious (holding fast) 9. Pique (to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride) 10. Bulge 11. Circumspect (cautious, prudent) 12. Liminal (relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process, occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.) I have also written this for the Photo Challenge at Mindlovemiserysmenagerie
“GrandMaman, what’s a bastard?”
Grandmaman’s eyes widened, she sighed and looked up to the sky for a moment as she was weeding her vegetable garden, and crossed herself.
“Hum, bien tu sais, “bastard” has different meanings for animals and for humans.”
“Huh? Je ne comprends pas, Grandmaman. Les `tit gars à la garderie m’appellent un Baltard. ”
“Mais, why do the children say this to you, mon petit? ” GrandMaman could not help but notice a glimpse of sadness mixed with confusion on her grandson’s face.
“Jean Noël said his mother said I was. So what is it? They had a weird look on their faces like I was a bad person.”
GrandMaman stood up and took her rake to remove the rubble along the riverbank, stealing some time to shake the anger that had trickled inside her soul. She noticed tiny branches in the debris and gathered it together thinking this would make a nice little bonfire for tonight. Yes, she thought, this would be a nice way to end the evening rather than wallow in self-pity for the ignorant bullying her grandson was exposed to. Her grandson looked at her in supplication, half expecting bad news but hoping for the opposite.
“Mon cher petit, sometimes children overhear their parents gossip. Gossiping is talking about this and that and sometimes untrue stories about people.”
“But why would grownups tell untrue stories about me, Grandmaman?”
“Tu sais mon amour, the world is made up of many kinds of people. When a miracle happens some people do not want to believe it. Some are even jealous. Ils aiment piquer le monde autour d’eux. Their tongues become sharp and resentful. ”
Poor little guy just looked more confused at his grandmother’s explanation. His head hung in quiet desolation.
“Écoute mon enfant, some use this word to hurt people thinking we do not know the true root of the word. It is like using the name of the Lord in vain. They use something beautiful and in their tenacious vindictiveness, they turn it into something ugly.”
He sighed loudly and shouted, “BUT WHAT DOES BASTARD MEAN!!!”
“It means “love child” mon amour. You are the product of pure and innocent love and you are a blessed miracle in your maman’s life as well as mine, mon trésor. Tu comprends, maintenant?”
The little guy’s eyes bulged as he could not believe what his grandmother was telling him. He kept thinking this over and thought of stories GrandMaman told him gifted children and how many were circumspect around them. He kept thinking of stories of Jesus of Nazereth and how he was so innocent of his specialness yet was threatened by some.
“So children’s parents are jealous because I am a love child, GrandMaman? What does that make me then?”
“It makes you the most unique and loving miracle, mon amour, and must not ever let ignorant or jealous people put you down. They do not know what they are doing and know not what they say. Keep love in your heart, mon amour. Now help me weed this garden, so we can get supper ready and a nice feu de camp later with des guimauves. Allez…allez…”