Scatterbrained.

So I know I mentioned a few things in my last post that I wanted to go back over in more detail. First, I am very glad that my self-diagnosis was apparently  correct, as now I will be able to receive the treatment I need. This is great news, because I cannot stand the idea of living one more year in the cycle I am still in.

The intensive DBT program scares me a little, but I know I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, or I’ll never leave this cycle. The cycle is what is “comfortable” to me, but I don’t want that kind of comfort. I need to be uneasy so I can get healthy.

For those of you who are unaware, DBT is a type of therapy geared toward borderline individuals- Dialectical behavior therapy. Here’s the Wikipedia entry.

Even as much as this entire situation sucks right now… the ex is being very spiteful and mean… calling me petty and other less savory things when I ask for compensation for damages done to my home and belongings by his daughter and him, etc. I refuse to be bullied anymore. I know that’s why he thinks I am such a cunt: I’m willing to have a backbone… I know this is the way things needed to go. I feel it is fateful in many ways, for the journey to self-discovery and healing has apparently gotten a turbo boost since this has occurred. I have always been a fairly self-aware person, but this has gone to the next level. Reading into borderline, accepting that it sounds like me, getting diagnosed and getting into proper treatment is all great for me! I am leaving his ass in the dust.

The other thing it has massively helped with is healing my relationship with my father. This was unexpected but one day I felt I should call him and explain what had happened when we broke up. We split in a really dramatic way. His daughter decided it was too stressful for her to live here and she needed to move out to her grandmother’s. We were still going to try to make the relationship work, however the next day when he came up to talk to me, we ended up in a huge argument because I refused to take care of his daughter’s pets any longer (not my responsibility!). Things ended up violent. He puts all that blame on me, because I did make the first move (I am ashamed of this, I have never gotten like this before) when he told his daughter on the phone that I was going to let all her pet rats starve to death instead of feeding them. This is clearly NOT what I said nor what I would have done! I got incredibly angry and apparently I shoved him and scratched him. I don’t remember scratching him but he sent me pictures. When he was leaving, I shut the door behind him but he came back and shoved the door open with me behind it, yelling about what a bitch I am. He shoved me with the door so hard I hit the couch and scraped up my ankle (left ankle -right one is already injured from a fall down the stairs a few weeks prior). I have a huge lump and bruise on my shin still from being hit with the door. He only let up when I yelled that he was a “woman beater” out the front door. Then he left and proceeded to text me about what a sociopath I am and all these other things… probably more justification on what a “nice guy” he is and how I just “shat all over him” and how I am “an abusive monster”. More of the same I have been used to hearing now for the past few weeks or so.

Of course, he owes me well over $3,000 because even though I can’t afford to support him or his daughter, I was often forced to do so, putting groceries on my credit card because I would be guilted into it, or you know…let them starve while I ate. Every time I brought up needing financial help, I was manipulated emotionally or argued with. It became impossible to talk to him about anything serious. I have a promissory note with the payment plan on it thankfully, and I did receive a payment today even though he is back to calling me a bitch and all that, so that is a good sign, though I’d rather be done with him sooner than I will be. Unfortunately, he does not appear responsible enough to pay me off quicker, nor is he capable of getting a loan because he’s massively fucked his credit.

I digress. I called my dad. I told him what happened. Talking to anyone in my family about my relationships, particularly ones this toxic, is not something I do. It’s not comfortable for me. My family does not address feelings. But I felt it needed to happen. I wanted to explain to him what I have been dealing with. I told him all about borderline, how I have struggled with self-harm and suicidal urges most of my life, plus tumultuous relationships. This was risky as he knew when I was a teen that I would cut, but he would use it against me. He has changed a lot recently however, and I felt I needed to make this push. And what he did surprised the hell out of me.

He actually said something to the effect of: “That sounds just like us,” when I explained to him what borderline is. This is the first sign of accountability from my father. We had a big, long, heartfelt conversation of the likes that we have never had before. At the end, he actually told me he loved me, and I told him I loved him too. This was the first time in my life this has happened. I’m 31 years old.

This is about all I can bring myself to write about tonight, but I wanted to explain that there is definitely a silver lining in my life. I feel like my very being is returning to my body. I am reclaiming my life, my home, my health, and my mind. I will heal, I am strong, and he can live the rest of his life without me.

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.

Long time, no update. Trigger warning: Self harm.

I’ve been in a pretty crazy place and therefore no time or energy to update. I am reaching out now because I feel I have hit a low I haven’t seen in a long, long time. On top of a very difficult and painful fibromyalgia flare, work has been insane and my depression has hit an insane peak. Unfortunately, my partner is not at all understanding when I deal with this kind of shit. He tends to go on the defense and tell me I am just being manipulative if I confess any suicidal thoughts. As a result, I lost willpower and cut myself for the first time in 11 years. Sliced my thigh to hell. I am very disappointed in myself, but mostly just conflicted. I emailed my therapist right away. I haven’t been in to see her in months, been waiting for money to magically appear as my insurance will not cover her. I know I need to get back in immediately.

 

Have any of you had experiences with partners who have responded very poorly to such a dire situation? I do not know what to do. His daughter lives here with us so I need to proceed with caution though my gut says to ditch him. I will obviously run it by my therapist but I am feeling very desperate and very alone right now.

Rough week

Last week was a pretty bad week, but I feel that things are climbing back upwards slowly but surely. I am starting to think I need some medication for my anxiety. I’ve tried just about everything that doesn’t include pharmaceuticals to no avail. I had another panic attack recently, having two of them so close together frightens me. I’ve only had a few in my entire life. I did some reading up on them and it appears that if you leave panic attacks untreated, they can turn into a panic disorder. Well, that’s the last thing I need, really.

I took some klonopin a friend had given me to get me through a couple stressful social events and feel like it really helped me relax and act like a normal person in a social situation, something I have never experienced before because I am soooo used to freaking out in situations like that. I typically just shut down and don’t talk, mostly because I fear saying the wrong things, or weird things, or not having anything interesting to say, etc. I always assume people will be bored or irritated by me. So it was nice to have a sort of normal experience. The only thing is I think it messed with my memory a bit, which is already a little suspect with my brain fog and whatnot.

My homework for myself lately has been reading up on being a toxic person. Previously, I had read up on other people being toxic but never thought about the fact that I may be toxic as well. It explains a lot about the type of people I attract, both in relationships and friendships. I never thought about myself as toxic because I felt it was all about intent. I try to avoid making anything personal, even in arguments, not dragging out peoples’ shortcomings and throwing them in their faces, etc. BUT I realize that my (negative) feelings are so palpable that they suffocate the people around me when I am in the midst of dealing with them. I realize how painful and draining this can be for others because I grew up in a very volatile situation, though I think I was more afraid of my father when he was angry because it could and would easily switch from him being frustrated at some situation that had nothing to do with me or my brother/mother/etc. to taking it out on one or all of us. I became trained to be frightened any time his mood went south regardless of how or why. I don’t want to be like him, at all, so when I hear my anger hurts those close to me even though I am careful to not direct it at anyone, it really touches me and I want to do everything in my power to avoid it.

My boyfriend and I are both battling these things, whether he realizes it or not. Something in my tone of voice will trigger him, and he will fire away at me. Because I am still unaware of these tones in my voice (they do not always match up with how I feel inside) it takes me aback when he starts yelling. I don’t do well with yelling/slamming doors/etc. so then I am triggered and then I start yelling. It’s a downward spiral from there. I end up shaking and crying and he gets so defensive and puts blinders on, not realizing that he has any fault in this as he is just “reacting” to me. I think that is utter bullshit and refuse to take 100% of the responsibility, and we did discuss it last time this happened. He agrees and apologizes for his part. But I still feel like we have a long way to go, because he likes to drag out very personal things when he gets angry and that hurts me a lot. Knowing that he thinks I do not do enough for my mental health especially aggravates me. I do not have enough time in my schedule to fit in more therapy, nor more money. He thinks I should find a provider in my insurance network so it is cheaper and therefore the idea is I can go more often. However, my argument is… it has taken YEARS to find a therapist who works for me. I am not willing to go through the motions of trying out multiple providers again, wasting time, energy and money to find someone who will work for me only to start all the way over from the beginning. It took me many years to find my therapist and I am not willing to give her up. Plus, I rarely even have time to go have “fun”. If I cram all my “free time” into appointments, then my entire life is really just appointments and work. What about my work/life balance? There is no balance there. I still don’t even know what to DO for fun. I have lost that part of myself long ago. My life has become this search for restoring my health or finding a way to cope with all of these things, I have lost sight completely of all the things that used to make me happy, the things I thought were fun. It’s depressing! I am even dealing with a lot of anxiety around the idea that I have to talk about myself at work soon in front of my team because we merged with another company and we are just doing this thing every week where one person from each department will introduce themselves to the whole team, talk a little about the things they like to do, etc. and I am just sitting here thinking… what do I like to do? What will I talk about? “Hi, I enjoy working my life away and fighting to get my life back from many chronic illnesses and mental health issues, so I basically don’t have any hobbies anymore.” I mean really… I feel like a shell of my former self, even more so than when I was really deeply depressed. At least then I was constantly writing and painting.

Tomorrow I finally go back to my doctor and will discuss the idea of checking for Lyme disease, and maybe discussing anxiety meds. I don’t know how he will feel about the last part, since he is a naturopath, but he has been open to prescribing me things I ask for because he knows I won’t abuse it and that I am very self-aware and have done a lot of research about things.

On another note, the medical marijuana card was a great idea. I have found some products from dispensaries that really help me with my pain without getting me high. I got a very potent tincture that helps me with my pain but doesn’t mess me up so I can take it at work. I’ve also found some particular strains that I can smoke when I am at home that help with pain without making me tired or hungry, so I can stay focused and get things done. Aside from gabapentin, this is probably one of the most helpful things I have gotten for myself. I have now just started using Rick Simpson oil (RSO) and I can’t comment quite yet on my experience with it as I just started last night. Supposedly, people have cured various cancers with it and helped all sorts of symptoms from varying illnesses including lupus and fibromyalgia, but I am skeptical. However, I can say I am happy to have found something for me that works, I previously rejected people when they told me I should get my card, thinking all stoners think weed is miraculous and can fix all problems… shows what I know. Hopefully it will be decriminalized on a federal level so I don’t have to worry about being drug tested at work and potentially losing my job.

Anyway, that’s about all there is to report. I’ve still been incredibly fatigued. I feel as though I used up all my energy last year and the beginning of this year, when I bought my house and did a ton of work on it. Now all those projects are half completed and the disarray is making my anxiety worse. I’ve been depressed too, with the PMDD going into overdrive… I always think, has it been a month again already? I need to also talk to my doctor about eradicating my period again which I did for 11 years and didn’t have these types of symptoms. I can’t live with it.

I also lost a pet recently, I have snakes. One of them got sick and I took him to the vet, unfortunately it appears the respiratory infection spread quicker than I caught it because the very next day, he was dying when I got home from work. He died right next to me and I just sobbed and sobbed… didn’t help it was one of the days my boyfriend and I were at odds and he was not there when this happened. We fought all day long and then this happened…and then we fought some more. I need a vacation, pretty damn sure of it.

New supplement to try

Have any of you ever taken Lauricidin? My doctor recently suggested I start on it as a long term thing to attempt to help battle the Epstein-Barr virus. I just ordered some on Amazon and started today. I was told to start slow and work my way up to a full dose, and from what I read, it is to avoid the Herxheimer Reaction (which is something I experienced while treating the parasitic infection I had – the die off of the parasites was happening quicker than my body could flush out the toxins, which resulted in waking at 4 or 5am covered in sweat, with terrible stomach cramps and high fever…would like to avoid ever feeling like THAT again). I am reading some promising things on Amazon but would like to hear from others if anyone has anything to share. I hope this helps me.

Still trying to track down what is causing all the signs of infection/inflammation in my bloodwork. I’ve finally come out of a depressive phase with extreme stress/anxiety and can try to get things done again. I emailed a doctor who my doctor referred me to who is supposed to be really good at nailing down causes of inflammation in the body. He’s stumped. I’m glad he did make a lot of progress with me, because it was SO overwhelming for so long to just hear doctors continually call me a mystery or a “complex case” but not make any progress!

I also just got my medical marijuana card in the mail yesterday. Looking into making some salve with cannabis oil for my muscle tension, pain and the painful cramps I get with PMS. I’m new to all of this so I need to talk to someone at a dispensary about what strain(s) would be best for my conditions. I just find it all fairly intimidating, especially with the spike in anxiety I was feeling.

The sun came out for a little while today and that certainly helped improve my mood and energy levels. My boyfriend and I had a great talk to the other day too after another fight left us both in tears and I think we are getting to a point where we understand how to properly support each other. We both come from a background of abuse and trauma, there is a lot of pain in both of us. Our issues had been pushing each other apart instead of bringing us together like it should. I’m feeling better about things.

I had decided to go back to therapy also since my therapist told me she would do sliding scale for me once I discovered my out of network deductible is too high for me to ever meet in a year ($4500) meaning I was paying $220 a month for therapy which I just can’t do with my really high mortgage I am paying on my own and all my other assorted bills, loans and healthcare costs. Unfortunately, she can’t afford to see me for what I can afford so I might have to wait until I can spend more or hopefully we can work something out at least for one meeting a month. She’s still only working two days a week (recently back from maternity leave) so we’re both having financial struggles at the same time. At least I am starting to feel more stable though I haven’t seen her in a few months. And even then, I’ve barely seen her for the past year because of how long she was on maternity leave. Maybe I am doing better than I thought.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Anxiety through the roof

I don’t know what is affecting me lately but my anxiety has been sky high for the past few weeks. I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but basically I keep this ongoing list of things I need to attend to in my head (this can be as simple as going grocery shopping, responding to an email, etc. to something much bigger like…well I don’t know, scheduling something that’s super important) and if anyone tries to push me harder to attend to one of those things on the list, the more it overwhelms me. And that’s where I am at right now.

I think part of it is financial stress. I was lending money, more than I felt comfortable, to my boyfriend and this was stressing me out… but I felt as if I *had* to keep doing it. He’s paid me back all of it and a little extra and I feel a lot better now, but there is still this weird looming anxiety over me. There’s a lot going on but there is always a lot going on. Part of it may be the newest labs. I don’t really know. But now that the boyfriend will be on his own financially, I am able to focus back on my priorities. I am living beyond my means at the moment which is always scary. I just bought my first house in November and now I’m housepoor. I’m continually paranoid that something will happen to my job or something worse will happen with my health and I’ll lose everything I worked so hard to get. It’s hard not to think that way when I just watched this happen to a friend (who eventually passed away in October after losing his house and going bankrupt by medical bills).

The past couple weeks have been particularly difficult as adjusting to hormonal medication is never easy and with everything else going on, I’ve felt like tearing my hair out. I had a bad argument with my boyfriend and I’ve lost all patience for conflicts like that. There is nothing productive about casting blame, raising voices, etc. so I just gave up and said “I’m done” over and over again. He took off for awhile and I had some time to think about whether or not I cared if everything just ended right then and there.

Frankly, I am used to going about life on my own. This makes it difficult to let people close to me. Also with my history of letting the WRONG people close to me, I do worry about making those choices again. I love him, but I don’t *need* anyone. It sounds even more cynical now that I have written it out… but honestly this is how I feel. I have such little desire for this kind of drama. I have no energy to dedicate to it. So now added to my long list of “to do” items is to have a serious discussion with him about who I am and what types of things really strike nerves that I’d rather not be struck. While he and I originally met over a decade ago, we didn’t truly get to know each other until recently, specifically the past five months. He’s new to dating someone with chronic pain/illness and some incredibly insensitive things have been said. I lost my temper. I really feel at the end of my rope lately.

Perhaps related, twice in the past couple weeks I have noticed some extreme flushing of my throat and chest. This is new to me, so I don’t really know what’s causing it. Perhaps the stress/anxiety is getting so bad it’s causing my blood pressure to rise? I’ve almost always had low/low-normal blood pressure. But I also fear things may be different now that I have received these results in my labs with the incredibly elevated lipoprotein A levels… I am talking completely out of my ass here, because I don’t know enough yet about how/why these levels are SO high. It scares me though, because I have a few items in my labs that point to increasing risk of developing blood clots, stroke or heart attack.

I feel quite a bit out of control of the situation, as my cholesterol levels are fine. There doesn’t appear to be much I can do about the way things are right now. Also, I think I have experienced a flaring up of the Epstein-Barr virus. I think I noted in a previous entry that those levels were higher than normal on my latest labs as well. For the past week and some change, I have had an extremely sore throat, swollen tonsils and pus on my tonsils/back of my throat. A doctor I saw was so convinced it was strep throat that I was given antibiotics before the culture results came in. When they did, it was negative for strep and determined to be a viral infection.

I’m starting to wonder if I should just push to have my tonsils removed. I tried years ago but now a couple practitioners have tried to steer me away from that, saying the risks outweigh the possible benefits.

Yesterday was a bit rough but I ended up meeting up with a friend I haven’t seen in years who was just recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I talked to her a lot about treatment, symptoms, etc. and let her know I’m here any time she needs to talk, because I GET it. If I could just find a job being some kind of advocate for people going through these things, I would be SO pleased. I just really want to help people so even if it seems I have made at least minimal impact, I’m happy about it.

I’ve exhausted myself just typing this entry… more at another time. If anyone has favorite stress relieving tips, I would love to hear them!

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.