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.

Borderline? Maybe…

Well, I have come to the uncomfortable realization that I likely have borderline personality disorder. I have had mental/emotional health issues for most of my life (earliest recalled issues around age six – self-harm which continued into adulthood) though I have never received a diagnosis besides a quick “general depressive disorder” type thing, just to get me on antidepressants, which did not ever work for me – I’ve tried all different kinds. This is important, though, to move forward with bettering myself. Too bad I had to cancel my last therapy appointment because I am just too broke.

I’m in the midst of a huge fibro flare and spent two days laid up because I was doing some light yard work (cleaning up branches; my dad came over to help trim some shrubs and cut down a tree)  and my nerves have been going crazy. Neuropathy is becoming a chronic problem for me now suddenly, particularly in my left hand. It scares me a bit with my heart issues.

Today I should receive the test results for the Lyme disease test. Probably I will update again after my appointment later this afternoon. Wish me luck…

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.