So Frustrated!

I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Usually when I’ve been in a happy space, it’s lasted a maximum of three days. But this time it’s been eight. A record! I have a new lady in my life, and I’ve never felt the way I feel about her with anyone else… ever. She’s such an amazing gift, and I’m falling hard.

The day started off beautifully, when Elizabeth (my new girlfriend- not her real name obviously) sent me a good morning voice note. It was such a lovely way to wake up. A little later, the first thing went wrong, and that just sent me spiraling down. If I’m honest though, it started last night in group.

I couldn’t wait for group. I had planned to go in and share how much of a good space I’ve been in. I was excited to share. I even offered to go first. But that just flew out the window once I started talking. We had to tell the group something that we’re grateful for. So I told them that I’m grateful that I’ve been in such a happy space lately. I wanted to explain why I’ve been so happy, but then it happened. My mind just went blank. And I ended by throwing in “and I’m grateful for this coffee- my weekly treat”, and that was the end of that. I was left wondering “what the fuck just happened?”

I thought I was making progress by being more open in group, but apparently I’m not doing as well as I thought. Why couldn’t I say what I wanted to? After the group, I stayed behind with two of the other ladies, and I was in high spirits and a mischievous mood. It was fun. And I managed to tell them what I wanted to say in group. It seems I’m okay with opening up to two or three people at a time, but no more than that. Driving home I just started beating myself up again. I was so pissed off. How fucking hard can it be to talk in front of a group of people I know, and who I know won’t judge?! Sure, from time to time, I can throw in my two cents when someone else has shared something, but I still struggle with communicating during those times too. I don’t complete my thoughts, and stumble over my words.

I’m so over this shit! I don’t want to go to group anymore. But I know that’s not going to solve anything. I have somewhat of a bond with some of those people, so it’s nice to see them every week. Dammit! I need to do this thing! But how the hell do I get around this group social anxiety thing?

Today is a shit day. So many things are going wrong. I’m moody and just want to stay in my room and sulk. The only exception is seeing my new lady. I’m seeing her tonight (she got us tickets for an event), which I can’t wait for. I can’t wait to see her again. But for now, I’m pissed off with a lot of things, and so fucking frustrated. It’s not even 11am yet, and I’m already over this day.

I listen to Elizabeth’s voice note and it soothes my nervous system for a while. So that’s keeping me (relatively) sane. Just thinking of her calms me down when I feel I’m going to spit venom at someone… People are especially annoying today.

I’m feeling a little disconnected from my therapist as well. Actually going to send her a text after I post this.

Writing this post has actually helped. I feel a little better. I love my blog, it’s so therapeutic. And I love you guys as well.

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I Can’t Remember Your Face…

Or the sound of your voice.

I recently found out that I’m not exactly “normal” when it comes to how I remember how people look. My world is black and white, but not just in the BPD/cognitive distortion sense of the word.

I’m unable to remember what people look like. How their voices sound. The way they walk. I was talking to an old school friend recently, and she was talking about some other students and teachers from our school days. The way she was describing them, I just couldn’t see it. I can’t remember what any of them look like. I have the memories of some of the events she was talking about, but had no recollection of how those she spoke of looked. I don’t quite know how to describe this, since it’s a normal thing for me. I can’t visualize the person’s face. It’s weird. It’s much more of a sense of that person, which for me, translates as seeing. I don’t know if this makes sense. How can I explain something that was always normal to me, and compare it to others experiences?

The strange thing is that during a flashback, I can see the faces of some of “them”… And their facial expressions of the moments I’m reliving, but not always either. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known someone, if I don’t see them face to face, or in a photo, I can’t picture them. For example, even with the dad. I’ve lived with him most of my life, yet I can’t remember what he looks like when I don’t see him. It’s the same with everyone. With him I can see the facial features I inherited from him when looking in the mirror, but that’s still not the same thing.

I also struggle with my other senses, like smell and taste. Like in guided meditation, when they say something like “bite into the apple and taste the sweetness of it. Feel the juice dripping down your chin. Smell the ocean air, hear the sound of the waves, the birds singing overhead.” Nothing. I can visualize it, but there are no senses involved.

When I say “I can still remember her face, that look on her face”, it’s not the person’s face I’m recalling. I know who it is, but I can’t actually see their face, their nose, eyes, etc. It’s because I know what a smile looks like. I know what expressions look like. So it’s not an actual snapshot of how the expression looked like on them. God, this is confusing. Instead of “out of sight, out of mind”, the more accurate phrase for me is “out of view, out of mind’s eye”.

It’s unsettling that others can do what I can’t. All those times I’ve said that I hear someone’s voice in my head? Well, it’s their words, in my voice. I thought this was how it is. I didn’t know there was another way. As for the method of self-soothing that some people use… Picturing the faces of their loved ones helps them feel calm and safe. But I can’t do that. I have to rely on voice notes and photo’s. It doesn’t seem fair. But hey, life’s not fair.

I’ve “interviewed” most of the people I know, and I’m the only one who seems to struggle this much. They can all visualize someone’s face, some clearer than others, and hear the sound of their loved one’s voice. I’m the odd one out. They’re fascinated. I’m pissed off. Does anyone know whether this is a BPD thing, or a “me” thing?

A Hostile Takeover

I’m an introvert.

When I spend too much time with a person or people, I start getting frustrated. Even with my friends. I need time alone. I don’t want to spend every weekend with people. Sometimes I just want to spend time with myself. Being lazy, watching TV, reading, studying up on things that I find interesting (such as psychology). There are many times where I crave closeness though. And it comes at the worst possible times. When everyone else is so busy with their lives that they don’t have time to spend with me. I tend to fall into a depression then, and feel unimportant and rejected. I’ve never actually had anyone hold space for me while I was going through a difficult time. When I really needed someone, just anyone, I was alone. Which is probably one of the reasons I’m so attached to my therapist. She’s helped me through a lot of dark moments. When I had no one, she was there. She was (and is) my person. I hold onto the hope that one day I’ll find that person who will walk with me through it all, and let me do the same for them. Through both the good and the bad.

Right now I’ve withdrawn into my shell.

I had to photograph a wedding on Friday. I’m a photographer but I don’t do weddings. But I made an exception in this case, as it was a small wedding and I know the bride. I was terrified. One of the reasons I don’t do weddings is because it’s the one event that you just can’t mess up on. You don’t get a second chance. And I just don’t have the confidence that I feel every other photographer has. I wanted to cancel every day for a week, wondering what the hell had come over me in accepting the job. But when I make a commitment, I stick to it, even if it hurts. Besides, it was a job, and I desperately needed it.

It was so stressful. And now I’m working on the photo’s, before putting together the package that they selected. I’m going to be working on it for the rest of this week. At least I enjoy it. All that anxiety had built up over the week, and now that it’s over, I’m exhausted and just want to be alone.

The photo’s came out better than I expected, but less perfect than I wanted. People keep telling me my photography is really good. But no matter how many times I’ve heard that, it just doesn’t stick. Unfortunately our brains have a negativity bias. The bad sticks, while the good seeps away quickly. It’s automatic, as the brain has a high sensitivity to negative stimuli. Fortunately, it can be changed (with a lot of hard work). You can read more here.

When I’m doing a photo shoot, I pretend to be confident, calm and collected. One of the reviews I received said “she was professional, calm and comfortable”. If only this client knew how I was trembling inside, feeling like a fraud. Don’t get me wrong. I love taking photos. It’s the interacting with people that I struggle with. And the fear of messing up.

In other news, my stepmom’s parents are here for the next two weeks (and they might even stay for 3 weeks), and I’ve been exiled from my room. I’m now staying in my step brother’s room (he’s sharing with his sister- obviously in separate beds). There are now 8 people in the house. It’s crowded, and noisy. I want peace and quiet when I wake up in the morning. To be able to sit outside and not hear twenty voices. I’m not a morning person. I have my own bathroom in my room. Now I need to share one with the kids and my uncle. I can’t shower when I want to, I need to schedule it around when they want to shower, and then I’m stuck with lukewarm or cold water. Even the kids get preference over me, which is frustrating.

I think of it this as a hostile takeover, hence the title. See how I blow things way out of proportion? It’s a talent of mine.

In our last session, my therapist used a REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) “technique”. It goes something like this:
My beliefs: I should have my room to myself. I should have all my stuff around me. I mustn’t let this upset me so much. I must get over it. She’s helping me eliminate the words “should”, “have to” “must”, etc. So I’ve been trying to re-frame those thoughts. Instead of “I should have all my stuff around me and have my space to myself” I’ve been saying: “I would prefer to have my room and space to myself, but they’re not going to be here forever. I’ll get my room back when they leave. Yes, it’s an inconvenience, and yes, I’m annoyed about it, and I get to feel that way”. It’s the anger that I’m trying to replace with less destructive, intense emotions. So I’m practicing this (my homework).

Wish me luck for these next few weeks!

This Unwelcome Feeling

This unwelcome feeling seeps into my soul. Where did it come from, and will it ever go?

It’s not a thought, nor is it really a desire. It’s a feeling that haunts me day by day.

Constantly lurking in the shadows. It’s presence can be felt even on the best days. I can’t stand feeling this way, and it never really goes away. Always lingering.

 

I don’t want to live.

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Just A Burden

Being ignored. The story of my life. But do you think I’m used to it? No, it still fucking hurts.

I’m the odd one out. I’m the one whose voice doesn’t matter. Who doesn’t get asked whether I want to do something with them… Only to find out that day, from my uncle (not even them) that they’re going away for the day or weekend. I won’t always want to go with, but sometimes I would like to… And I would appreciate just being asked at least.

Trying to have a conversation, but getting interrupted by someone else, and suddenly it’s like I don’t even exist anymore. And they want to know why I don’t want to spend much time with them. Seriously? What’s the point when I’m either ignored, talked over, get mocked, or subjected to listening to inappropriate things. God help me when I try to express and tell them how it makes me feel. Showing any negative emotions, and it becomes a shit storm. I get yelled at and made to feel like a nothing.

I know I’m a burden. I know I’m an adult. But in those moments I feel like that past child all over again. I’m supposed to be part of this family too. But I’m always left feeling ignored. They even forget I’m around sometimes, and aren’t ashamed of admitting that. Oh man, I feel so loved and special.

It’s not just family either.

But you know what? I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m not going to ask for what I want or need ever again. I give up.

I’m not human. I’m not a person. I’m just a burden.

Don’t Tell Me

Don’t tell me it’s in the past, that I need to let it go.
Because the past has the sneaky habit of intruding on the present.

Don’t tell me what I feel is wrong.
Because what I feel is coming from a real place and there’s a reason for it.

Don’t tell me I need religion and God (your idea of God anyway).
Because religion fucked me up in more ways than one.

Don’t tell me that life will get better if I just have faith that it will.
Because you can’t see into my future.

Don’t tell me you understand exactly how I feel.
Because you couldn’t possibly know. You have no idea.

Don’t tell me I don’t need therapy.
Because therapy is helping me deal with deep seated pain and trauma.

Don’t tell me I don’t need medication.
Because that medication is helping to keep me relatively sane.

Don’t tell me I’m overreacting.
Because in that moment I can’t think straight.

Don’t tell me you love me.
Because you’re not capable of real love.

Just leave me alone.

“Daddy, Please Just Stop, And Notice Me.”

Right now I feel like a fragile little girl. A frightened, lost and heartbroken little girl.

I quit my job yesterday. I decided to stay until the end of the day though. I wanted to finish everything up and tie up loose ends, so that the manager wouldn’t have to do it the next day.

I didn’t tell my dad, because I was afraid of his reaction. I knew he wouldn’t take it well. I wanted to clear my head and organize my thoughts first, because the state of mind I was in wouldn’t allow me to communicate coherently.

True to form (he’s always felt like a stalker to me), he caught me and asked me why I wasn’t at work. He had also sent me a message earlier today asking whether I was at work, which he has never done since I started the job. When he caught me at home, I was thinking of lying, but decided to tell him the truth instead. That I quit. That I couldn’t stay until Friday. That I had had enough. I was drained. I am drained. He didn’t say much, but what he did say, and his tone of voice, told me that he was pissed off. I knew he would ask me about it later in the evening.

And he did. He didn’t shout (at first), but he wasn’t very nice either. He made me feel small. The more I tried to explain things to him, the more he went on, as if he wasn’t hearing anything I was saying. Lecturing me. Growing more and more agitated. At some point I just stopped trying to explain. I can’t remember some of the things he said, I just kept disassociating and being transported back to my childhood experiences with him. Not once did he ask me how I was feeling. He just kept telling me, over and over, how he felt. I was already feeling so depressed and overwhelmed. The emotions that had plagued me for most of the day. I really wasn’t in the mood for this. I told him that I want to talk about this some more, but could we rather please talk about it tomorrow because I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I told him that. Yet he carried on, repeating the same things over and over, everytime getting more and more angry. I started feeling so sick, that I thought I was going to throw up. I held my head in my hands, but he didn’t stop, just kept going on and on. Like he couldn’t see my distress. Or he just didn’t care. I wanted to yell “Please, just stop! Please, please, please!”

I tried to just get him to understand me. To really hear me. I eventually got so desperate that I mentioned that I feel like just giving up on life. In that moment, I was hoping that he would see just how serious this is. How bad I’m feeling. Bad enough to be considering suicide, and actually telling him that. Being that vulnerable with him. But he just yelled at me and said that’s stupid. That I know I’m just being stupid. I wanted to say “daddy, notice me. Please help me.” But most of all, “Daddy, please listen to me. I need you to be my hero right now. I need you. I was a hero for you when you were in that dark place. You should know how dark that place can be. Please be my hero now. Please just love me.” But instead he just said that, and told me to get over it. How do I get him to just understand a little bit at least? But how can he understand when I try to tell him and he doesn’t want hear it?

I don’t want to get into everything he said, but I’ll mention this… He told me that I do one thing for a year, and then drop it like a hot potato. That’s true. He mentioned a few other things. I wanted to laugh and tell him that he’s mentioning some of the symptoms of BPD that I struggle with. I’ve tried to explain BPD to him, but it’s like he’s on some other planet and I can’t reach him. If he had really listened to me when I tried to tell him what BPD is, he would have known. But he didn’t.

He also told me that everytime he tries to talk to me, I shut down. What he doesn’t realize is that me shutting down is a protective bubble that keeps me ‘safe’ from him and his words. Because they hurt. They rip my heart out. And those times when I really need to talk to him, he just wants to watch TV and says he doesn’t have time. But he has time to watch two series a night? I’ve tried talking to him so many times throughout my life, but it was always a lost cause. I told him tonight that I’ve tried to talk to him so often about things that are bothering me, how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking, but he either gets angry (he hates it when I express emotions – it seems I never learn), or turns everything around and the conversation turns to his feelings and life. I told him that I understand that, but sometimes I also just need him to listen to me. He then kept defending himself, and once again it was all about him. So I shut down.

I felt like that child and teenager again who just wanted his love. Even with all he’s done, and how I hate him so much most of the time, he’s still my dad. And I don’t know how to let go. Why I keep expecting things to be different. I guess I’m still looking for him to give me the kind of affection I’ve always wanted from him. The affection a child needs. Not the kind of ‘affection’ that only hurts and confuses a young child.

I just want my therapist right now. I feel like that little girl who desperately wants her mommy after a stressful event. Who needs her mom to comfort her and calm her down. Like you see in movies. Where the child has that one parent they can turn to when they’ve been hurt by their other parent. I don’t feel capable of soothing myself right now, but I know I have no other choice. It’s not the same though, and it’s so hard. Especially when you feel so young and fragile.

I never thought of my therapist as a mother figure before, but right now, I’m not sure how true that is anymore. Maybe subconsciously, I have been. Is this even possible? Or maybe it’s just now, tonight, that she’s taken the ‘mommy’ role in my mind. Because as far as I remember, this is the first time since I’ve started seeing her that I’ve felt this way. Maybe the little girl inside feels like she needs another parental figure to step in and tell her it’s okay. That she’s loved. And right now, Therapist seems like that person.

My heart is hurting so much.