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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warning!! Borderline Personality Thinking Run Amok!!!

Okay, I've been holding off writing this because I just don't like to reveal the "darkside" of recovering from borderline personality disorder. Sometimes, it just comes out in full force which it has especially for the past several weeks and this past week was really difficult. I was in that "I am bad" and "angry at my therapist" mode. It is such a horrible place to be in because I end up feeling abandoned, but it is me abandoning me and not being able to hold on to connection with myself and therefore others.

I hate being aware of it, but feeling like I'm helpless and can't do anything to get out of it. Which I keep being reminded that I am not. Then, everything my therapist does, doesn't do, says or doesn't say gets all twisted into "I'm bad. Or, he is being scolding or critical. I can't do anything right." Then, I get more depressed, the suicidal thoughts increase as well as the urges to self-injure which I did a little bit a couple of times this weekend. I feel panic, out-of-control and disconnected to everyone (and don't want to change that). It is a scary place to be.

What is worse is that my fragmenting is not even the real issue, it is only a defense against doing and feeling what I really need to do and I blame this blog. I had to go and be honest which has made me really focus on my mother and then you readers go and mirror back that it was that bad. Now, how in the world am I supposed to maintain denial and control? All my defenses come out for war to protect me from a threat that no longer exists. But, tell that to my borderline brain in the middle of it and my clinical brain becomes clueless and inaccessible to me.

What is worse is that I got myself into "trouble" because my therapist read the whole BPD series!!! So, he now knows that somewhere in me that I get it...it is like playing cards and revealing your whole hand. Not that I play cards, but that doesn't matter. He keeps telling me that, "I did it to myself." Well, who was the idiot that told him to read my blog in the first place. Okay, that would be me too. I'm starting to feel a little better, but on Sunday and Monday before the session I was so angry at him, so I wrote some ramblings down. Now, remember this is from my borderline thinking and I'm not very proud of it. But, this recovery stuff isn't easy. Remember, I'm doing better now. However, this is what I wrote and read knowing full well that I was "crazy."
August 25, 2008 ~ Monday ~ 9:15 AM

I’m not even sure how to start this because in my head I just keep hearing you telling me that “I’m defending, reacting or fragmenting.” Somehow, that completely invalidates what is going on and that I shouldn’t tell you. I felt worse after I hung up with you last night than I have all week. I think that I needed to feel reconnected with you. When I reconnected with me some, I did not feel it was reciprocated. At the end, it felt like I really needed some validation that you were okay with me. My head wasn’t enough. And, I don’t feel like it was fair because I did work through a couple of those things on the phone.

I am just so angry with you right now. It just feels like I’m feeling worse the more I talk with you or don’t. I know, I’m fragmenting. Last night, I didn’t feel like you gave me any validation or put it right back onto me. I’m feeling really hopeless and yes, I know that I am reacting. I guess, it is sort of like my mother and when I just hope that she will give me that one little morsel of telling me that I am okay. I guess that is what I wanted from you.

But, even when I said that I was frustrated about not being able to leave a message you were silent. Most of the time, I wasn’t even sure that you were hearing me because I felt like you were not even acknowledging that you heard me.

I really feel like you don’t understand how difficult crying is for me and in my head I hear you telling me that I make it bigger than it is. But, you don’t feel that automatic cut off when I start to feel the tears come or the numbing that immediately happens.

I know this is all or nothing thinking, but I really feel like you don’t understand how the past couple of weeks have been. I really feel like giving up if I’m just going to feel worse after each session or contact with you. I can’t continue to do this. Last night, was the worse I’ve felt. And, I don’t want to tell you what is going on inside my head because you are just going to throw it back at me. And, then I react and feel bad. I’ve been feeling bad for a long time and I feel like there isn’t anything to counter balance it. I know that was what it was like growing up along with feeling like you are blaming me for everything.

I know that I need to learn things for myself and that it has been so long, as you reminded me that it was five years. I just feel really bad that I’m not doing this. I feel like I’m not trying or working hard enough. I keep thinking of injuring myself or planning to kill myself…I know, I’m just reacting. I feel like it isn’t okay to tell you what is going on if I am reacting, fragmenting, projecting, etc… I just don’t think things are working out and I know it is my responsibility. I feel pretty hopeless and want to just give up especially after this weekend.

Well, there it is! By the way, I by no means was able to take in that he called me and we had an hour conversation on a Sunday evening nor the millions of other things that tell other than what I wrote above. BPD really sucks...what is worse is knowing about what I am doing!!! I just want to be clueless again!! Thanks for letting me rant. I feel better now.(Guess what, I discovered I like emoticons!)


Mr B The Tech Teacher said...

Hun, I hate to sound the eternal bloody optimist but it sounds from that post like you've actually made some massive steps. You've recognised the BPD, and other things, and although you aren't comfortable enough to face them fully yet you're definately on the right road.

You may think that this is a negative post, but look at the forces behind it, the self-understanding that has driven you (and "got you in trouble" as you say). When the self-injury, panic, and suicidal ideation calms down I'm sure you'll find that you're in a better place than you've been before.

*hugs* take care of yourself, please?

Clueless said...

Hi Shiv,

You are right to be optimistic. I have made some big steps and I didn't think it was "negative" as much as I don't like to reveal the "craziness" in my head, but what I learned from the BPD series is that it is helpful to others and myself. I will take care of myself. Thanks you!!
I love the hugs too!!

Wandering Coyote said...

Agree with Shiv. You made some key realizations and there was great learning from your pain. That's the hardest learning to get, but sometimes also the most important. Of course, it would be lovely to learn but not have to go through the whole damn process, right?

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I'm super proud of you for writing this post! Sometimes getting all your feelings out there can feel good!

Clueless said...

Wandering Coyote, you are correct, but the process sure sucks!!!

Ash, thank you. It did feel good to read this to him.

Mike Golch said...

Hi C.C I hope that you are having a good day!Mike G. said that!( It's an A.A.thing)

river said...

dear Courageous, and have you noticed that Courageous contains the word RAGE. So glad that you have healed to the place where you can have your feelings with the healer you are working with. Truly you are healing. This is a bit of an essay by my favorite Healer. Her name is Marion Woodman and when i read you entry thought of this article because what i hear is that you and your therapist are about soulmaking. Question and Marion Woodman's response.

"Your whole work seems to be in a way about soul making.
I would say that's true--or soul mirroring. More and more I tend to see the soul expressing itself in body symptoms--in the way the body moves, in the dreams. I see it almost as a prisoner with the complexes squeezing in to take the life out of it. So, I try to do the mirroring that the parents were not able to do.
The soul just became more and more encased. It wasn't heard in a child's body. It wasn't seen. And that's because the parents often have their own agenda as to what the child is, so they want it to act and speak in a certain way. The result is that the soul goes underground. I see therapy as an attempt to reconnect what that child has lost, the soul child.

There are a lot of books out on the concept of the soul. Do you have a definition?

Well, for me, the soul is the divine part of us that is embodied in this physical form for a few years. Eventually it is released, but I see soul as the embodied part. I see spirit as the energy, the disembodied energy that can come in to union with the soul in the body.
For example, a great dancer like Nureyev can prepare his instrument. His muscles can be in perfect shape through his attention and his concentration. So, his consciousness, his light in his body--which for me would be soul--can be a perfect instrument. But, he's a great dancer when spirit is in union with that instrument. The leap is in the union of soul and spirit.

So, a lot of your work is freeing up the soul so that it can be able to get in that union?

Yes, so the soul is strong enough to be able to accept that union. If it is weak, or if the body is not conscious, the spirit could come flashing in and cause a psychotic episode. It's like a Rolls Royce engine in a Volkswagen car. The energy could blast the container to pieces and that does happen to people."

Surely Courageous, each time you can have your feelings and contain them you are building the capacity of becoming fully human and fully divine soul. You can have all of you and contain it. Can you imagine what kind of engine you will have when all you have endured moves through awareness, expression, and containment?

love and hug

river said...

Now for the lighter side. Yes as times those therapist can be a real pain in the tush and a bit noxious. Maybe this story will help.

Nasreddin Flower Garden

A young man named Nasreddin planted a flower garden, but when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nasreddin consulted with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.

Finally, Nasreddin traveled to the palace of the king to seek the wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But alas, Nasreddin had already tried all the methods the kind old man recommended to him for eradicating such troublesome weeds.

Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal gardener looked at Nasreddin and said, "Well, then, the only thing I can suggest is that you learn to love them."

May you soon come "to love it all" when it comes to you healer, the process of recoverning from BPD, and most of all yourself.

Clueless said...

Marci, thank you! The soul to me is the essential quality that makes us human...it can be inspired, delighted, crushed. It is the part that communes with God. The soul is what is wounded. There is the mind, body and soul. Yes, my soul had been buried and is slowing speaking and looking at the truth and feeling it too. My therapist once told me that working with me isn't about fixing anything it is about letting me just "be." And the dance we have is of the "good" and "bad" parent, but mostly good. Each, little blip is an opportunity to grow and to trust him even more. He has seen my soul. My engine will have dings and scratchs some deep, but it will be sparkling clean and will run smoothly and will require diligent maintenance.

It has always been about embracing myself instead of disavowing, destroying or punishing. Which means I embrace everything without judgement. Therapy and not my therapist is the pain in the tush. He is just the vessel to target my rage, but it isn't really toward him.

For several reasons, Monday's session, writing and reading the letter to him and posting it, helped me to turn a corner. I am feeling better.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. Your comments were quite beautiful and inspirational.

Anonymous said...

My comments about therapists can be a pain in the tush was tongue and cheek, for can relate to what you say about projecting the old on them only to find deep healing, in that we find it is a safe place to have all of us without repeating the past dynamics. I heard a couple of weeks ago; in email and blogging only 7% of communciation is conveyed. Sometimes my dry humor is not able to be transmitted without tone and body jester, sorry. Can tell you have a deep healing connection with your therapist.


Laura said...

I agree with shiv. You're making some huge progress. This was a good post.

Clueless said...

It was weird Marci because I knew it was tongue and cheek, but when I got to the end I think I was feeling thankful. It was also the first thing that I did when I arrived home from therapy. Somewhere, along the way, I got sidetracked because therapy can be the biggest pain in the *ss as can the therapist...sometimes they are there to just needled you.

Courageous! :-)

Clueless said...

Thank you drifter. I'm glad that things are becoming slightly calmer and that the one test was okay.

Anonymous said...

For me one of the most important steps in dealing with BPD is recognizing that whirl in my head (someone somewhere called it a "dysphoric storm" - I think it's exactly right) - and how it's a red flag that I'm obsessing destructively. Sometimes I'm obsessing about a person - a therapist, sometimes somebody or something else. But just beating my head against a wall over and over taught me that going into that whirl and trying to "solve it" is seductive, but doesn't work. The answer isn't within the suffering. I have to analyze rationally - but when the storm comes it's time to move on. Distract myself, watch a movie, take some positive action in my life. Whatever. Do everything within my power to stop thinking about whoever or whatever I'm obsessing about. God knows it's *hard,* and I can't always do it. But the problem isn't going to be solved at the next session or the next meeting with that person - that's just going to aggravate it, or make me more dependent, unless I've managed to pull back first.

jumpinginpuddles said...

the reality is you have made the connection between understanding and denial, those are the two concepts most people never get round to understandiong the the reason why people leave therapy. Well done on that one.

Katie's Blog said...

It does seem you've made remarkable progress. I seem to do some transference onto my t sometimes too, but it's much better with this t than the last one -- horrid Stephanie. I think the first step to overcoming issues has to be recognizing them and you've definitely done that by the title of the post alone. Don't be too hard on yourself -- you are getting better.

Clueless said...

@anonymous. Excellent observation and helpful. Thank you. Take care of yourself.

@JIP. Thank you.

@Katie. Thank you. Yes, I guess the title gives it away.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed, I mean, I really hope that sometime in the future I can get some insight and ability to recognize when my own defenses are overtaking my life. Its not something I can even begin to do at the moment.

Clueless said...

It has taken me many, many years and much therapy with a great therapist to get to this point. My therapist has told me that most do not reach this point because it takes so long or the defenses are so hard to get through. I pray that you are one of the ones that "recover."

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