Update.

So, I haven’t written in awhile which I apologize for especially with how extreme the topic of my last post was. I’m single now. I have been officially diagnosed borderline. I’m on a wait list for a DBT specific clinic, so in about a month I will be starting a full fidelity DBT program specifically for borderline individuals. It’ll be very intensive but I will hopefully gain a lot from it. I hope so. I cannot afford to waste any more of my life like this.

The relationship cycles, the instability, the self-harm/suicidal ideation – all of it needs to go.

This update will be brief, but I have been struggling and wanted to put feelers out there, let whoever is listening know I am still here.

I was chatting with a friend tonight and she said something that made me cry (in a good way, considering this breakup went very rough and as a result, I have lost all the people I have spent most of my time with over the past year plus):

I never met Sam. And even though you and I haven’t hung out in person in a long time, I feel like you are one of my closest friends. I want you to know that the reason things came to a head isn’t because you have a mental or physical ailment. It’s because you are becoming emotionally healthier. You grew and he didn’t. If you take your exes and plot them on a chart, you may see patterns that make you feel like you are in a cycle, but you aren’t. You are in a spiral and it is opening up and allowing self-love and self-healing. And I could not be more proud of you.  All this with limited spoons.

She has known me a long time so I feel blessed to still have her in my life and I’m grateful that she sees me in this light. I feel like very few people do, especially now. It is easy to feel alienated when people are tossing you to the side as though you meant nothing, all because you are crazy…

Hope everyone is doing well. I will hopefully have the energy to write a more meaningful update soon.

No luck

Well, the Lyme test was negative. This means I am still on the hunt for whatever is causing the infection in my heart. I have a few other ideas but will just have to be patient.

In the meantime, my emotional problems are beginning to take over my entire life, and I have recently realized I am in the middle of a fibromyalgia flare up. I have noticed an incredible increase in fatigue but that could be due to any number of things. It became very apparent when I helped clean up some branches and leaves after my dad trimmed up some hedges in my front yard…it was very light work, but I ended up in so much pain later that day and was even worse the next. It was so severe that I had to hide in the bedroom while the boyfriend and I were supposed to have company. I felt so terrible. In addition to my usual tense muscles, I had some extraordinarily tender areas (mostly chest and left hip) and numbness/tingling/pins and needles in my left hand/arm. I have been experiencing that last bit more and more frequently, and I notice my hands go numb now if I decide to read in bed. I am trying not to be too alarmed at this but it worries me with whatever is going on with my heart.

So…my doctor has made some massive changes and I will probably be undergoing a lot of uncomfortable adjustments over the next few weeks. He has prescribed me Cymbalta, which I have not had before. I have had terrible luck with other antidepressants, at least SSRIs and Wellbutrin, but I will give it a shot. It’s supposed to work for depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia so we will see if it helps any or all of those things. Sounds nice, if it works.

Because of the possible interactions of Cymbalta with Flexeril I have been switched to another muscle relaxer: zanaflex. I have no experience with this, but hope it works. Also, we are finding that one of my supplements does appear to be helping out my thyroid so I am cutting down my dosage of thyroid hormone which is nice. I was also briefly put on Losartan and now going off it, which is fine by me because it made me incredibly sensitive to sunlight. I found myself with sunburns when I typically don’t burn easily.

I feel so scattered and unfocused so I apologize if it comes through in this post. I have been feeling like I am losing my sanity. I have had moments where I feel so disconnected from me and who I am, typically when my boyfriend needs me to be emotionally present… and I just can’t be bothered. I just sit there, eyes open, not caring… I know he needs me to reach out and touch him, or tell him everything is okay, but I just…don’t. And it scares me. I feel like my whole being is just somewhere else in those moments, and I am just this human-shaped shell, incapable of caring. I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I really need to get back into therapy, but I just keep hoping for something to slow down. I wish I could just take time off work and focus on my health, but it’s just not possible with my finances.

When I read about Borderline personality disorder, I felt like I was reading an autobiography. There are a couple things that don’t apply to me, but so much of it does. I am not diagnosing myself, because I just don’t believe in that, but I believe that this is a breakthrough moment for me. I have always read a lot about psychology and never, ever thought I could be someone who suffered with a personality disorder. Why was I so quick to embrace the possibility of other emotional issues, but deny personality disorders? I guess even in the stigmatized, there are stigmas. It felt too “permanent” maybe, to me before. But now it is something to run past my therapist and get my shit figured out. I am so tired of living like this. It’s a shame my emotional issues had to go into full speed when everything else did, too, but I guess it’s all connected. Coming off depo and allowing PMDD to rear its ugly head was one of the worst decisions I ever made, but I didn’t realize I had that issue in the first place until all this started happening…so I guess it could be a blessing in disguise.

My doctor referred me to a hormone specialist but unfortunately, that doctor is not covered by my insurance. I’m on the hunt for another to see what we can get figured out. This is all the updating I have the energy to provide currently…thanks for reading.

Emotional manipulation

I came across an article this morning about emotional manipulation and how to protect yourself. Having been in an incredibly damaging relationship with someone I am 99% sure is a sociopath, it spoke to me. Also having grown  up in an abusive home…I see there are a lot of crossovers, and I guess it is unsurprising that I would end up in a series of uncomfortable, unhealthy and downright abusive relationships over the years.

To me, it was always the emotional abuse that was worse than the physical. I have only been in one relationship that included any kind of physical abuse, but my childhood had its share of physical abuse. Mostly though, it was the words that stung. The words and threats are what manipulated me into believing I deserved that kind of treatment. I always said I would rather undergo any kind of physical pain over emotional pain. I stand by that; my heart is sensitive, my tolerance for physical pain is sky high.

For those who would like to read the article, I will link it here: 8 Ways to Protect Yourself From Emotional Manipulation. I implore you to read it, even if you have not been through such a situation, it may help you understand others who have been. Empathy is incredibly important to me. Helping to understand victims will help them feel less alienated.

It drives me crazy when people get upset with the victim in such circumstances. Many people do not understand the victim cycle. You end up feeling brainwashed…it IS a form of brainwashing. If you want to be aware and able to help someone who is a victim of such an abuser, another good thing to read up on is gaslighting. This is a form of manipulation that has the victim questioning their own sanity. I have been there. I didn’t have anyone around me who understood what was happening. I was being judged, blamed and called crazy by a handful of friends and acquaintances who did not understand what I was going through. I eventually was strong enough to get out. But it wasn’t until JUST NOW, when I read this article, that I realized this happened to me in my home life as well. I was just mentioning it the other day, actually; so I am not sure why it clicked now. The Wikipedia article for gaslighting explains it all.

I blamed myself for many years as a child and into adulthood for the things happening around me. My father continually denied any of his abusive behavior, accusing us all of being crazy when we were brave enough to confront him. This is why I started to “punish” myself at a young age, moving from beating and bruising myself with heavy objects, to burning myself with metal items heated red hot or chemicals that would eat through my flesh, to eventually cutting. I started with a pocket knife my father gifted me and ended with a razor blade busted out of a safety razor. I cut myself so deep I went into shock, and thus began my desire to stop the self-mutilation I had by this time been entrenched in for about a decade. I thought my very existence was the reason my father was so angry, and I was making myself pay for it. Perhaps he was mad that I existed, but it was not my fault. I did not ask to be born and I certainly wouldn’t have asked to be born to this family. I finally realize it: It is NOT MY FAULT.

So. No surprise I would continue on the path of self-abuse for a long time until I tried desperately to get help. I find I still struggle (see: last relationship) but I am hopeful for my future now, perhaps for the first time ever. I feel very much free from many things in my past, though occasionally I am still haunted by particular memories. Many of my friends have also lived through traumatic childhoods; most of them, however, have made peace with their abusers and now have as healthy of a relationship as possible with their families. I fear I will get no such closure. My boyfriend told me he doesn’t know what he would do if he didn’t have the support of his family and knows how hard it was before he had that support. He told me he knows how hard it is to get where I have gotten without any help. HE ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDS ME. I cried so much I felt like a dried out husk of a human. My accomplishments and my struggles have never been acknowledged like that. He is proud of me. I don’t feel like anyone has EVER been proud of me, and if they were, they certainly didn’t say so. It touched me and it was exactly what I needed to hear and have needed for years. He gets me. I feel so lucky.

I can’t really relate to people who DON’T come from a traumatic background and/or don’t have some kind of chronic illness. Obviously the reverse is true as well. It’s difficult to connect with someone who comes from a wildly different place than yourself.

I am happy to say now that the people I surround myself with are positive people making changes in their lives for the better despite their painful history. This is an improvement over the years I spent doing damaging things with other damaged people. No goals, no plans, no care in the world but to forget the monsters inside our own heads. I thought I would not live to see 25, and I didn’t really care.

I dragged myself out of that pit, and I did it all on my own. I guess this is probably my greatest accomplishment. I quit cutting, I quit drinking (I do drink occasionally now but NEVER to get drunk and tend to veer away from hard liquor) I quit a lot of other things including negative self-talk. I felt like that was really stupid when I first read/heard about it but it is very important. I am less critical of others and less critical of myself. Not that I am perfect with it just yet but my quality of life has improved over the past couple years for sure.

I’m pleased with life now and have hope for my future. Eyes wide open.

Long time coming

So I realize I have not posted in quite some time, and actually was surprised when I noticed the date on my last post (I thought it had been even longer ago that I bothered to update). But I have a little bit of time now and want to catch up on some things.

My last post was incredibly negative and I feel both surprised and UNsurprised by that fact considering how I feel now, and considering my circumstances at the time that was posted.

I feel so grateful to finally feel *stable* for once. The good news is that despite how I felt during my last post, I can actually tell how different I really am even though I could not see it at the time. My therapist came back from maternity leave as my last relationship was falling apart and she was saying things like, “You need to remove yourself from that situation as soon as possible.” and I was able to respond: “I know, and I am already working on doing just that.” She commented to me that I seemed like a completely different person. I started to feel, experience, see things as a different person also. I truly feel I have finally made progress, and it came just in time to rescue me from a very damaging situation.

I moved too fast into a relationship and justified it because it was a person I had dated before and had 15 years of history with. However, it became apparent he had not changed much in those 15 years and the situation devolved into something dangerous. I used this crumbling foundation to launch me into a new, necessary yet scary endeavor: to own my own home for the first time. This was a goal I had for a very long time and it always felt completely out of reach. In a matter of two months or so, though, I did it. It was SO hard for me to wait for the right house to come along when I knew I desperately needed out of the place that I lived with a monster.

Looking at house after house out of my price range or places falling apart, or too far out, or even putting in an offer and being beat out by a different offer was becoming a little bit soul crushing…especially when I had to return ‘home’ feeling defeated, putting up with the emotional abuse and filth I had to live with.

When I finally found the place I wanted, I was completely unfazed by all the paperwork and all the typically “stressful” things people complain about when purchasing a home. I welcomed it. Each step was a step closer to what felt like total autonomy and liberation. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but if it does… maybe you haven’t lived through an abusive relationship. Buying my own home is important to me not only for the accomplishment but for a symbolic end to my incredibly unstable history. Finally there is something that is mine, mine alone. Maybe I won’t have to move upwards of 4 times a year anymore. It feels good.

My job, which is very stressful in and of itself, has become much easier for me to handle. All of this just from a change of my perspective, the way I see life, everything. I am so grateful. I cannot stress enough how exciting it is to me to feel I have finally made progress just when I felt ready to give up on ever changing. It does not help that there were a handful of people to throw in “I told you so” type commentary regarding my last relationship, but I casually pointed out, “This is not a bet, it is my LIFE.” Be there for me or get the hell out of my way.

So, mental/emotional health is improving. Stress is reduced. There’s all kinds of new stresses that come with home ownership, but I feel I am handling it all with grace. Physical health is a little bit worse off, though not as bad as I would expect. I did move twice this year, and 95% of all the packing and lifting (including furniture) was done by myself, chronic pain and all. On top of this, I have not had a professional massage that did me one bit of good since April of last year, right before my massage therapist was injured gravely. She is still unable to work, but I did finally get a referral to someone who might actually be able to help me thanks to my amazing fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue doctor. (Long story short, many massage therapists claim to be able to work on chronic pain/fibro patients, but few actually seem to know what to do with a body like mine.)

So, I am hurting, but I’m no longer under any crushing unhappiness or stress, so perhaps this is why it is not affecting me as badly as I would have expected.

I did receive a new diagnosis recently. My period has returned after I came off of depo provera. I was on depo for 11 years, during which I had no periods. I began experiencing a lot of bad cramps and emotional outbursts, lots of anger, irritability and sadness. My doctor diagnosed me with PMS, partially due to these symptoms and symptoms I experienced prior to going on depo. I wanted to stay off hormonal birth control until I balanced my hormones but I could not stand it any longer and my doctor wrote me a prescription for Nuvaring. So far so good but we’ll see what happens come next month.

Just got 14 vials of blood drawn for labs, plus saliva and urine samples. There are still some mysteries in my body to solve.

I have much more to say but am currently at work so this will have to do for now. I hope you are all doing well.

Just need to vent.

Every time I let myself slip and have *feelings* I think I am doing something right finally until I am betrayed again, by myself or someone else (usually both; myself for being too trusting, especially), end result is the same. I’m so sick of my bad decisions, I am only attracted to those who will hurt me. I keep trying to work on it. I’ve been in therapy consistently for more than a year, the longest ever. I cannot tell where I am going wrong. Even someone I have known half my life convinces me of things that are obviously impossible. I’m sick of being jerked around like this and even more frustrated at myself for letting it happen time and time again. I don’t know where my issue is, but I guess all those people who called me ‘broken’ were right. I am fine picking up the pieces and moving on, alone, it’s what I do. However, when the time comes and I think I can trust my decision making skills again, I won’t know how to tell if it’s all a facade or not. After this, I really do not see myself trusting someone who says any of these nice things to me ever, ever, ever again.

Anyone else get stuck in these cycles with relationships? I always see the good in people and want to believe the nice things people say. Then when people show me the opposite of those nice things, I feel like a fool and naive for believing it. Part of me will probably continue to insist that somewhere I will somehow find the type of companionship I desire, but the other part is saying it’s just not possible. For some reason. I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but I will never fully trust someone or even myself ever. Giving in because someone seems so genuine is just an invitation to be hurt.

Of course, my problem mostly is connecting with people who have major issues themselves. I have some crazy desire to grow and change and support someone and have them support me through all the crazy bullshit I have to deal with. But people fall short and I always end up feeling like I am just too much trouble, not worth the time. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I hope I can figure it out one day. Until then, it’s just me I can count on. Even then, not all the time. But I’m the best I’ve got.

Suicidal ideation

Interestingly enough, it seems that a lot of people come to the conclusion that suicide is a selfish choice. However, when I attempt to point out how my thought processes have been when I think about suicide (largely relating to me feeling like a burden on others, which to me seems the opposite of selfish), people get uncomfortable (naturally) and still tell me it’s selfish. Then some even specify that if you do not completely exhaust your support network before committing suicide, of course you are selfish. How dare you make a decision without baring your soul to every single person you can think of who might help?

But if in that moment you decide to share some thoughts you have had with them, they close up and say “Maybe you should talk to your therapist about that, I’m not a trained professional.”

What? Are you not part of this support system I am supposed to exhaust before giving up completely? Being shot down by people I care about doesn’t really help. Not that I am at any risk of following through on these types of thoughts, I am still in a bad place and need the care and support of those close to me. Time and time again, however, I am reminded that no one wants to discuss these things, yet they still want me to believe it’s selfish of me.

Funny how that works.

It’s hard for me to write this post even if it seems otherwise. I have run into a lot of issues confessing my feelings to people I care about. Of course it’s hard to hear that someone is feeling this way but the reactions I have encountered just serve to reinforce my assumption that no one is really there for me, that there is no point in talking to people about it because they will react negatively. That is scary especially when you are in a very dark place.

What they really mean to say is you should talk to a psychiatrist or go to a support group. Anything where you are talking to virtual strangers because it’s easier for them. It’s not easier for me. I don’t think I could be  comforted by a group of strangers about something so deeply personal and difficult to discuss.

The judgment is what hurts. Everyone has an opinion on how you should handle it even if it doesn’t work for you, it comes off as some grand effort to get this uncomfortable topic as far away from them as possible. I get it, I guess. It’s scary and stressful to hear about, but I feel like it’s ten times more scary and stressful to feel.

As I mentioned to a friend, no one asks for a ton of problems, physical and/or emotional. One can feel punished by life for going through so many terrible things, and the cherry on top of that shit sundae is how alienated it makes you from others. So, let’s see…chronic fatigue, chronic pain disorder, crushing depression AND people feel awkward and wary of me!? Score!

My therapist is on maternity leave, but I am counting down the days until she returns. Clearly I have a lot to discuss with her. Time and time again, circumstances seem to reinforce to me that I am truly the only person I can ever count on 100%. Guess it’s time to have more faith and confidence in me. Not a bad thing, but I am not sure I can ever trust anyone 100%.