Welcome!!! Please, if you are new here, READ THIS FIRST!!! Thank You!!!

Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Why?...Sacrifice

***TRIGGER WARNING SHOWS LOSS AND THOSE EFFECTED DURING WAR***

This video will bring most to tears, but it really is why we have Memorial Day.  No matter your beliefs, we must never forget sacrifices men and women make.  They are real people like you or I and without them we would have to reinstate the draft. Their making the ultimate sacrifice of their life effects everyone, but especially family and friends.  The video is a true representation of why Memorial Day exists.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day ~ Thank You For Serving!!

***TRIGGER WARNING SHOWS WAR SCENES***

This is a difficult video to watch and is dedicated to those who have lost their lives and for their families and friends losses. It is also a tribute for those who have served and who are serving despite the dangers. I thank our service men and women.



Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Salute


This weekend, I salute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of service! Thank you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Borderline Personality Disorder Stigma...Why?

In the past, I have written about the stigma of borderline personality disorder and some of the reason for it. However, Brain Blogger: Topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives, has one of the best articles, Psychiatry Discriminates Against People with Borderline Personality Disorder, that I have read and I want to share it with you.  I will later follow up with posts on abandonment, self-image and the brain. 

The stigma regarding Borderline Personality Disorder is probably the highest out of all mental illnesses combined.  While in college and in my career, my colleagues and I have often groaned when I find out one of my clients are diagnosed as such.  When I was diagnosed with it, I was quite scared because of the stigma which is clearly explained in Brain Blogger: Topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives.  As explained in the article, many professionals will not treat those individuals with borderline personality disorder.

However, I believe that there is hope.  For me, I have learned to manage my symptoms and understand them.  But, it has taken a very long-time and psychiatric hospitalizations and medication.  I continue to improve. My therapist is very committed to my becoming healthy and treats me as a person first and explains what behavior, thinking and emotions are common in people with borderline personality disorder.  I takes a huge commitment one the patient and professionals regarding borderline personality disorder.

Brain Blogger: Topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives, is a fantastic site and one that I follow one a consistent basis.  It addresses professional issues and psychological issues from many disciples in a way the someone not in the mental health permission can understand. Okay, I'll stop rambling and let you read the article. With permission the following is an article reprinted for this post:

Psychiatry Discriminates Against People with Borderline Personality Disorder
By Elise Stobbe


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by a pattern of unstable relationships, a self-image that is always changing, and poor impulse control. The person suffering from BPD fears abandonment and will go to any lengths to prevent this, including threats of suicide. Self-harm is a characteristic.

There may be no other psychiatric diagnosis more laden with stereotypes and stigma than Borderline Personality Disorder. People who live with this label — the majority being female — often have problems accessing good mental health services. (1) Unlike the stigmatization that society puts on mental illness, the stigma associated with BPD often comes from mental health professionals and their patronizing attitudes.

Many psychiatrists will not treat BPD patients, or they may limit the number of BPD patients in their practice or drop them as ”treatment resistant.” Often attempts to treat borderlines fail, and some professionals blame the patient for not responding to treatment. (2) It is often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or treated inappropriately. According to Dr. Joel Dvoskin, former Commissioner of the New York State Office Of Mental Health,

“Why would psychiatry and psychology turn so viciously against people they call mentally disordered? Apparently the greatest sin a client can commit is poor response to treatment. What is apparently so wrong about these unfortunate souls is that they have yet to demonstrate the ability to get better in response to our treatment. Thus, they don’t make us feel very good. With a few notable exceptions, we have simply given up on helping people who desperately need us to do a better job of helping them.” (3)

Many mental health professionals discriminate against BPD patients because of what their co-workers have said about them. They watch other professional people “rolling their eyes” when someone mentions BPD. This is just evidence showing others that “everyone knows that people with BPD are horrible people and hard to manage”. (4)

Clients who come to services with a diagnosis of BPD “may already be disliked before they have even been seen. Clients in treatment are often embroiled in clinician attitudes which are derogatory or denying the legitimacy of their right to access resources. Studies have demonstrated clinicians having less empathy for people meeting diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder than other diagnostic groups and making more belittling comments.” (5)

Support services for consumers and families are woefully inadequate. The public is generally unaware of the disorder due to the lack of educational materials available from various mental health organizations. No celebrity has yet come forward to put a face on BPD, probably because BPD is the most stigmatized of all mental illnesses today. (6)

Recent research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of individual cognitive behavioral therapy along with group psychoeducation and skills training that teach emotional regulation skills, distress tolerance, improved interpersonal relationship behaviors and awareness (mindfulness). This, combined with careful medication management, may allow the patient to achieve significant progress. (7)

Effective treatment can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. There is also considerable short-term fluctuation in symptoms and distress, and the long-term outcome for many patients is often better than originally thought, even without treatment. (8) A fairly new psychosocial treatment termed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which was developed specifically to treat BPD is available. But without willing professionals, people with BPD are denied the help they need.


References


(1) Nehls, N. Issues Mental Health Nursing. “Border Personality Disorder: Gender Types, Stigma and Limited System of Care“. Abstract. Entrez PubMed.

(2) Bogod, Elizabeth. Mental Health Matters. “Borderline Personality Disorder Label Creates Stigma“.


(3) CAMI Journal on BPD, Vol 8 cited by TARA Association, “Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder“.


(4) Fleener, Patty, M.S.W. BPD Today. “Stigma and Borderline Personality Disorder“. (2002).


(5) Krawitz, Roy and Watson, Christine. Mental Health Commission Occasional Publications: No. 2. “Borderline Personality Disorder: Pathways to Effective Service Delivery and Clinical Treatment Options.” (October, 1999).


(6) Porr, Valerie. TARA Association. How Advocacy is Bringing Borderline Personality Disorder Into the Light“. (Nov. 2001).


(7) TARA Association, “Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder“.


(8) Livesley, W. John, M.D. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Editorial: “Progress in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder“. (July 2005).

So what is your experience with being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or what have you known about the stigma surrounding this disorder?

Don't forget to check out Brain Blogger: Topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives.  You will be glad that you did. Follow it for a while to see the vast number of posts including funny research.  Thank you for Brain Blogger for giving me permission to post their article.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look Out!! Here Come The...!!!

In all of us, there is something that most people try to hide, but everyone has it... an inner geek and/or nerd.  Luckily, May 25th is Nerd/Geek Pride Day!!!

The following is from Wikipedia:

Apparently, it originated in Spain. You go Spanish nerds. In addition, it falls on
the anniversary of the original Star Wars film.

In 2008, Geek Pride Day came to America and in 2009, Canada. So let's rock our
nerdiness. Let's get a large number of people to party it up with us.

Look at your geek responsibilities, people. This is going to be awesome.

A manifesto was created to celebrate the first Geek Pride Day which included the following list of basic rights and responsibilities of geeks.

Rights:

The right to be even geekier.
The right to not leave your house.
The right to not have a significant other and to be a virgin.
The right to not like football or any other sport.
The right to associate with other nerds.
The right to have few friends (or none at all).
The right to have all the geeky friends that you want.
The right to not be "in-style."
The right to be overweight and have poor eyesight.
The right to show off your geekiness.
The right to take over the world.

Responsibilities:

Be a geek, no matter what.
Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
Save any and all geeky things you have.
Do everything you can to show off your geeky stuff as though it were a "museum of geekiness."
Don't be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
Don't waste your time on anything not related to geekdom.
Befriend any person or persons bearing any physical similarities to comic book or sci-fi figures.
Try to take over the world!

Engineers are often portrayed as nerds or geeks especially with the computer and electronic age...who do you think invented your iPod? I tell my husband who is an engineer that "engineers make the world go 'round."  I'm going to embrace my geek today.  However, I would have to say that my mother's husband is a certifiable nerd.  He wears a pocket protecter and bring physics books on vacation for pleasure reading. Hmmm...but, I bring academic psychology books....it is all inside of us to some degree. 

I wondered what is the difference between Geeks and Nerds...the Internet had some interesting ideas:


So ow it is time for you to take a couple of quizzes to find out your geekiness and nerdiness. (For people who know me, honestly I didn't cheat!!)


You Are 24% Nerdy







You're a little nerdy, but no one would ever call you a nerd.

You sometimes get into nerdy things, but only after they've become a part of mainstream culture.



You Are an Academic Geek







Academic Geekiness: High

Music Geekiness: Low

SciFi Geekiness: Low

Fashion Geekiness: None

Gamer Geekiness: None

Geekiness in Love: None

Internet Geekiness: None

Movie Geekiness: None

Nerdy Geekiness: None

So what do you think? How did you score? Are you a geek or a nerd...Shhh, we won't tell anyone.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Got Milk?

Today, May 22, 2010 is the first Harvey Milk Day in California.  Please don't stop reading. Please.  (If you want to know how I as a straight Christian came to become a gay rights supporter.  Click Here.)

This is a day of recognition that will occur every May 22nd, "in the state of California for gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978. Milk is only the second person in state history, after conservationist John Muir, to gain such a designation.  He is also the only openly gay person in the country to be honored with this designation.


Milk was an American politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated less than a year later. Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and "a martyr for gay rights", according to University of San Francisco professor Peter Novak.   In 2002, Milk was called 'the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States'.   Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009." [Wikapedia]

The Senate Bill, SB 572,  for this day of commemoration was written and pushed through by Senator, Mark Leno who was in 2008 and is the first openly gay man to serve in the Senate.  Leno was previously one of the first two openly gay men (along with John Laird) to serve in the Assembly. He also served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors between 1998 and 2002 after being appointed by Willie Brown.

Please watch the YouTube Video below to find out more about Harvey Milk, for he should be honored for being a gay man's achievements, but also what an example he was as champion for the rights of of the unheard, those who experience prejudice on all level and the disenfranchised.  He modeled what an advocate does to protect and make all voices heard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Embrace Differences!!

I know this is the wrong season for this, but I thought that I would share it anyway...you know I'm a bit unconventional anyway.


The above diagram is a very small percentage of a PDF file entitled "Xmas for Engineers," that my husband brought home for me. I thought it was hilarious and it was written as an actual diagram proposal. It floated through his company extremely fast.

To me it shows the differences about how everyone, not just men and women, approach problems, emotions, life etc. differently. For my husband, it needs to make objective, logical sense and be detailed.
Fortunately, he also has another side that can deal with emotions and social interactions well; however, he is an introvert. As am I, which means that social contact is draining for us versus extroverts for whom social contact is energizing.

I love my husband and learning how he thinks. From there, I go to how to we approach this problem taking into account both of our problem solving styles. I don't try to change him. I love just simply getting to know him better. I'm glad that he has a sense of humour about his own profession as do I. Oh, what I could share...

On example was way back in time, I worked with a bunch of engineers and we decided to get pizza for lunch...half and hour passes, so I go to find out what we were going to do.  I find two of them figuring out whether or not the medium or large was a better deal by using algebra formulas!!!  They do indeed think differently.  Some more than others.

In the meantime, celebrate each other's differences. Don't try to change them. Appreciate that they think differently because it makes us a better person. Work with the differences instead of trying to make them think like you do.

"Okay, dear...you go ahead with the Christmas decorations. I've planned to go shopping for a few days is that enough time?" Sorry, if I offended any engineers!! We couldn't live without you!! :-)

How do you handle the differences in people's attitudes, thinking, problem-solving, perceptions, and etc...?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Band-Aids Will Not Help!!

I sure do wish that a Band-Aid would fix my ouch.  Remember, from my previous posts that there has been a cutting off of my relationship with Arleen and Judy, my aunt/mother and her partner. Judy doesn't want any contact with me.  Arleen wrote that we can only communicate via email and ecards. However, Judy screens all of these.

Well, yesterday was Arleen's birthday, so I sent her an ecard and a gift certificate via email.  Well, up to now, neither one has been opened.  Judy did the same to her ecards and gave her gift to Arleen.  I've been really angry and in a lot of pain due to this situation especially as Arleen, even though she is only 10 years older than I, was my mother figure growing up.

I am in quite a bit of pain.  I also talked with my therapist last night because I knew I was fragmenting.  Basically, Judy has a Borderline Personality Disorder and I have become the all bad object.  Basically, Arleen will listen and agree to whatever Judy will say.  Which, at times, is incorrect, blown out of porportion or quite slanted.

The most difficult thing with this is that I don't have any way of contacting Arleen directly especially since Judy screens everything and even answers her emails for her without her knowledge.  And, I cannot do anything about it.  My therapist and I agree that Judy is threatened by my connection with Arleen that she will never have due to my history with Arleen, so she cuts off my connection with her.  My mother has done the same with Arleen and I in the past.

I really can't do anything about it without making matters worse.  I am extremely angry, hurt, disappointed, depressed and sad.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Melt Down! Progress?

How can one have a total melt down and have your therapist consider it progress?  Well, it all starts with anticipating a concert, Carole King and James Taylor Troubadour concert tour.

Well, I began my day with getting my blood drawn for some tests.  Then, I went to therapy and hour away.  Session was really tought, so my therapist suggested that if I want that I could come back in an hour after his next appointment.  Three hours later, I'm headed home which took an hour.  Usually take a nap, but there is not time.  My husband and I go to the bank to obtain cash and I discover I made a $2000 dollar error, so I have less money than I thought.  Pick up dinner. Meet park and ride bus to head toward the Hollywood Bowl...Friday rush hour traffic and takes over an hour.

The concert was fantastic and was extremely sad when it was over and couldn't believe how fast the time had gone.  Carole is now 66 and James is now 62...wow how time flies and they sounded great.  Now, for the tricky part.  The concert was completely sold out and the Hollywood Bowl has the capacity of 17,376.  There is only one way out of the theatre including a short tunnel that has a low ceiling, which we made arrangements not to use, (last time there, I had a panic attack).  Imagine over 17,000 only being able to move in one direction...cow time...moo!!

Well, there was one police officer directing people to use the tunnel and the rest of the officers were doing a traffic break so we could cross the street...confusion.  Then, it is packed by the buses and quite confusing and again wall to wall people, rude people and different directions given.  I was getting quite agitated.  Then, I was push on two sides by two very large and tall women and the man in front of me stopped...I felt trapped and confused.  And, I started to scream.  My husband calmed me down and we were the first on the bus....make way for the crazy lady.

I was thinking that what I did was bad and meant I wasn't making progress in therapy. But, when I saw him he was proud of me because normally I would have internalized my anger and taken it out on myself.  Instead, I directed it outward and let others know that I was in distress.  Now, we need to figure out more appropriate ways of dealing with situations such as these.  He was glad that I screamed and we speculated that there were many others that wanted to do the same.

Here is a video of one of the songs they sing:  One of my favorites, "Up on the Roof."

Monday, May 17, 2010

What I Like About Me!!!

I know that it has been kind of gloomy around these parts lately.  I also want to share some happier things.  My therapist and I talk about how it is easier to increase a behavior instead of reducing a behavior.  So, at the end, of a session where we were talking about my feeling empty, which is a classic borderline symptom, he asked what can you do to fill that up.  Well, I came up with a good list of other things, mostly to stop my feelings or distract me.  Then, he asked, "what do you like about yourself."  I came up with some, but it kept in my mind and this is my Wordle as a result:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Caption This!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Also, Underneath it all...too much!!

Thank you everyone for your support.  My session was productive.  My therapist clarified what I fragmented about and indicated that I have a lot going on and just one of these things would be enough, but I have them going on all at the same time. 

I really would like you to read what I wrote on Monday, so I am reposting it today.  There are key definitions at the bottom along with an update.

If you remember, I stated somewhere that two weeks ago left me emotionally exhausted. I couldn't write about it then, but I'll try now. (Remember, I have a Borderline Personality Disorder, as well)  Current, commentary in the emails are in purple brackets.  Let us start by identifying the key people.

Coleen:  Me
Adrian:  Husband
Arleen:  Aunt
Judy:     Arleen's partner
Grandmother:  Grandma; Masaye

Some background:  During last year, Arleen and Judy were extremely supportive of me after about 15 years of almost no communication.  Judy reports that my mother had told them that I was a very conservative Christian and felt that their marriage was an abomination.  She told me that they were uncomfortable with my being a Christian.  None of which is true.  I am actually a gay rights supporter. I think that they were projecting the "media church's" view on homosexuality on to me.  Additionally, I think I was a threat to their relationship as I was extremely close to Arleen.  She basically raised me and was emotionally my mother.

At the start of this year, there was a situation where all communication had been cut off between Arleen, Judy and I.  (See the following posts: http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2010/01/family-drama-anger-pain-fragmentation.html, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2010/01/drama-continues.html, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2010/01/drama-and-depression.html, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/search/label/Family%20Drama ). 

However, due to my Grandma's illness and subsequent passing away, Judy and Arleen had extensive communication with me and seeing one another at the events following. Judy had even called crying when her father passed away, her mother passed three days later and Grandma the day after.  The last conversation Adrian and I had we were in the middle of praying for her when she suddenly had to talk a call from her son.

Everything seemed fine during the events surrounding my Grandma's death.  My husband noted the same.  However, I emailed or sent an ecard to Arleen and Judy about one time per week since Grandma's passing (Feb 1st).  I had not had any response and received indication that she received, but did not open the emails or ecards.  Then, I received the following:

(It should be noted that Judy screens all of Arleen's mail, email and telephone calls addressed to Arleen.  It is very obvious that "Arleen's responses" to me are written by Judy especially as Arleen does not speak or write in the manner which they were written. She also is not awake during the hours that they were received.)

Received 4/26/10; Sent to Adrian, Arleen and myself; From Judy

Coleen and Adrian,

I thought my parameters were clear with Coleen, after Coleen left that horribly cruel message to Arleen on her cell phone some months ago. [see links above for details] Prior to that call to Arleen, I had put myself "out there", to be genuinely supportive and loving to and for Coleen. Arleen and I have been treated poorly by Coleen, through her behavior and actions toward us both, months ago. My feelings of extreme disgust especially over Coleen's treatment of Arleen, have not changed.  [This all stems from my setting a limit with Judy, but she is focusing on my statement toward Arleen which was quite nasty, but Arleen accepted my explanation and apology.]

While Masaye was ill and during the meetings of the family after she passed, I was appropriately as civil as I could manage to be, with consideration to all parties affected by her loss. [This is quite an over statement and may not even be true.  Remember that people with BPD don't see things as they really are and inflate and feed into their own anger...I know and it is difficult to be thoughtful instead of reactionary.] Somehow, this decision (my decision not to be cold or distant with Coleen at the hospital, service, Mom's home etc., ) was either greatly misinterpreted, or in my opinion, used as an excuse to proceed as if "nothing ever happened."

I asked not to be send e-cards and yet, this persists. I expressed my hurt over incidences with you personally, Coleen... and I expressed my infuriation and revulsion over your behavior and verbal dissection of Arleen. She is the last person on the earth who deserves your cruelty. Your behavior was absolutely inexcusable. [Each email that Judy has sent regarding the "incident" becomes bigger and bigger as demonstrated by her own words.  Also, begin to see how she uses splitting by all, nothing, never...etc.  This is definitely a BPD characteristic and quite difficult to manage and learn to be thoughtful rather than reactionary.  I'm getting better at it.]

As to the gift card you sent for my birthday, I am informing you that I have given it to Arleen because I'm not comfortable accepting it from you. It will be considered her birthday present from you to her for May. [This demonstrated how fused Judy and Arleen are with one another.  She is not dictating what I am to give Arleen for her birthday.  I'm going to send Arleen a gift of my own. I figure that Judy can do whatever she wants with my gift.]

I leave Arleen to speak for herself, if and when she chooses to do so, as always. As for me personally, to be perfectly clear Coleen, please do not email me, send ecards, call me or contact me in any way. It is well known that "fragmenting" is no excuse to treat people like shit only to expect that others roll under the weight of it. I believe you knew exactly what you were saying and while you truly experience "fragmenting" at times, you also employ it as a tactic to behave in ways so that you can escape responsibility for your actions by claiming "it" as the culprit. [Long discussions with my therapist over this paragraph.  Bottom line is that this is not true, but is for Judy who is projecting. She doesn't seem aware of her own behavior and this is actually more true for her than for me.]

We have been through the worst months of our lives and I will not allow these "issues" to persist. Please show some respect and let me be. I wish you both well.

Sincerely,
Judy

[Judy is BPD and has demonstrated many of the characteristics of such.  One of the issues we face with BPD is that we act and say things in ways to make the other person feel as we do. (projection).  So, my reaction was anger bordering on rage when I first received this.  However, I have stopped reacting to her anger which was directed at me.  Basically, she is angry about my setting a boundary with her and is rageful, so is trying to make me feel as angry as she is.  Classic BPD symptom. Tough one for me to deal with.]

Sent: 4/26/10; To: Arleen; BCC: Adrian

Arleen,

Do you feel the same as Judy in regards to me? Do you not want any contact
with me? If you do not answer as Judy made reference to, I will interpret a
lack of response from you that you do not want me to contact you via mail,
email, telephone calls, ecard, or to contact you in any way. I just want
some clarification about where I stand with you.

Love,
Coleen

Received 4/26/10; To: Me; BCC: Judy, Adrian

I do love you, you are my family and always will be, that can't be changed. I'm sorry that we can't have as close a relationship as before, because of what you said to Judy and me. I have forgiven you for me, but can't forget that somewhere inside of you, the real you, you must really think that about me. I love you, Coleen and always have! We can continue to email and ecard between the two of us, if you would like.
Love,
Arleen

[This email is obviously written by Judy as it does not sound like Arleen and sounds like Judy.  The other evidence is that it was written at a time when Arleen is quite far from being awake.]

Sent 4/26/10; To: Arleen; BCC: Adrian; From: me

I do love you too. I also am also angry and sad that you can't get past what was told to you by Judy. Especially, as you indicated in response to my email explaining my telephone call to you that you understood. I became scared when you wrote something like you both did not want any telephone contact with me. Although I know that it wasn't true, it meant to me that you were abandoning me and that you were cutting ties with me. What I stated, in anger, was not, is not and never has been what I really think of you. Often, most people say things out of anger that they really don't mean in an effort to really hurt someone. I am sorry that I hurt you, but that really isn't the way that I think about you. I'm sorry that I cannot count on you to be there for me...you and Judy were the only ones in the family that I could. So, you just throw away many years over this situation and basically don't want contact with me. Sounds a bit harsh. I guess, if I go into the hospital again, Adrian will notify you by email. How long are you both going to punish me for which I have already apologized. Is this a lost cause that I cannot do anything more about? I guess, we will go through the rest of our lives via email. I love you.

Love,
Coleen

[Okay, now I am reacting and not being thoughtful.  However, I was slightly aware of this and didn't care because I was so angry. But, there is progress as I was aware that I was making a choice.  A year ago, I was far from being able to do this.]

Sent 4/26/10; To: Arleen; BCC: Adrian; From: me

I am sorry if I hurt your feelings in the last email. But, I think, I am trying to obtain something that I will never have with you which is an open, loving, caring, supportive and understanding relationship.

Love,
Coleen

[Not a very wise thing to say...now, I am fragmenting more]

Received 4/26/10; To: Me; BCC: Judy, Adrian

Coleen! You didn't JUST hurt my feelings...you stabbed me in the heart and disrespected my love for you...how can that ever be completely healed???? And before you ask for an open, loving, caring supportive and understanding relationship you need to look deep within your own heart and soul...are YOU really capable of this yourself???? As I said I will love you and care about you always, but a relationship works both ways. I have tried to be so open and honest with you, but you obviously are hiding many things from me and everyone else...how do you expect to heal your soul by hiding and lying to yourself. I hope you read this and can understand, if not, then good luck with your life and be well and try to love the man that has stood beside you thru all this.

Love, Arleen

[This is definitively written by Judy who is escalating in her fragmentation.]

This is a part of what I was dealing with last week and it continues.  I had six hours of therapy four is the norm and a scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist. I also promised not to respond/react to Arleen or Judy without speaking with my therapist first, so as to stay out of "trouble." Needless to say, I am very angry and hurt by the above. It is mostly untrue.  I also demonstrated BPD characteristics by only seeing Judy as bad and I was feeding my own anger by ruminating about it.  Additionally, I thought that I was a "bad person."  Once, I was able to stop this I was able to be thoughtful about the emails.

I am beginning to realize that Arleen is choosing to be in an emotionally abusive relationship which saddens me as I am unable to speak with her directly without going through Judy who has effectively cut off communication with me.   I am angry at both of them, but really disappointed that I cannot communicate with Arleen.

So there was my Monday morning a couple of weeks ago!  I'm not through with the exhaustion of my week yet...sheesh.  I know that this is long, so for those who read it "thank you."  I also hope that it helped you to understand more about the issues and challenges that those with  Borderline Personality Disorder face, all the time. As of this point there has been no response or correspondence from either.  On Mother's Day, I did send Areen an ecard as per "Arleen's" response, but she has yet to open it.  I'm beginning to really realize that Arleen makes her own choices and the 15 year gap could have been reestablished earlier if Arleen had responded to my numerous calls and emails during this time.  Okay....go now....crying.
Key definitions:

Fragmentation ~ the person is all emotion with no reality based thoughts; emotionally reactionary verses thoughtful and responsive; 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. [Judy and I are fragmenting during the following interaction and are all feeling and reactionary.  Judy is significantly fragmenting and demonstrating a Borderline Personality Disorder feature.  We all do this, but it is especially difficult for someone with BPD to manage.]

Mirroring ~ "copying" another persons affect or thoughts. Basically, demonstrating agreement with another, so that they feel like you think and feel the same thing. In infants and children, this is extremely important. When this phase does not take place, a person will try to do this with adult relationships. [This whole thing started by a simple interaction were I didn't have the same opinion as Judy. Look at links below for details. It may seem like it is my reaction to Arleen, but, in fact, I didn't not fulfill her infantile fantasy that someone will mirror me exactly the way I want them to. BPD characteristic.]

Alignment ~ attempts at having another person think and feel the same way. This is a part of infantile fantasy and mirroring. Infantile fantasy is that everyone and everything align or agrees with how you think and feel. [BPD attempt at getting what they didn't get when they were very young...for me as an infant.]

Splitting ~ black and white thinking; everything is all good or all bad; polarization of people, ideas, and things. All or nothing statements are symptoms of this. (always, never, every time, etc..) [Judy is splitting me.  Once, I was all good to her and could do nothing wrong, but now everything I say, do, or once said and did is view as that I am all bad. Tough BPD issue to manage.]

Projection ~ a person projects their own feelings, emotions or motivations onto another person without realizing that their reaction is really more about themselves rather than it is about the other person. [Judy is doing this in the interaction. This is especially characteristic of someone with BPD.]

Transference ~ is when an someone associates something that is said or done in a past experience and so relives the emotions of that past experience in the present. [Both of us are doing this in the interaction.]

Monday, May 10, 2010

Feeling worse!!

I am still feeling like I did yesterday (see yesterday's post), but I'm a lot more anxious as I have my therapy appointment today. Oh, to clarify what I wrote yesterday.  I am supposed to be losing weight as last year due to medical problems I gained 60 pounds. That is a lot for anyone let alone anyone with an eating disorder. So, this year I began to really freak out and my anorexic behaviours, thoughts and feeling began to take over.  I'm working with a dietician.  It was crazy trying to lose weight with anorexia.

Yesterday, I also sent an ecard to my aunt which was never opened.  Please see post Anger and Pain: Family distance!! ~ BPD in Action!! This just added to my anger, hurt and disappointment especially anger toward myself as I had hopes that things would be different, but Judy does screen everything that Arleen receives.

Discouraged

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Angry, Discouraged and Fat

Tonight, I am really having a tough time.  I'm really wanting to cut and I'm so angry at myself.  When the weekend started, I was already having a difficult time and I know I misinterpreted what my therapist told me, but yet it sticks in my head and feelings.  I wonder if this is what I look like now?

I was quite excited about the Nordstrom Opening and was looking forward to making some purchases.  There were approximately 2000 people waiting to go in.  I was one of probably the first 50 as those who had a make up make-over were first.  It was an incredible crowd (lots of PRN and trying to get into a place to breathe) which was exciting.  The store opened at 10 am and the make overs at 8 am; however, there were people there since 7 am.  The Nordstrom brothers were there!!! The store is absolutely beautiful!!!  With many, many sitting breaks, I left about 2:30pm.  Then, took a three hour nap.

I was talking with all my usual sales person's some who have moved up or to another department because of the changes.  Last week, I was talking to one of the sales person's who became a manager of the department.  She knows me, but hasn't seen me in quite awhile.  The first thing that she did was to congratulate me and asked how far along I was.  I explained all the medical stuff and she was embarrassed and profusely apologetic. (Obviously, this upset me, but I put it aside. Tonight I am thinking about it).

The way that my weight sits does look like I am pregnant.  I look fine from the front and back, but from the side I look pregnant.  I'm really discouraged and any at myself as I couldn't find anything that I could fit into that I wanted and even the tunics that I liked did not fit.  I just wanted to cry, but the women in the department that know me were somewhat comforting.  I just wanted to purchase something that I needed.  I did end up purchasing some shorts, but will probably return them.  I had to return some bras that would have fit when I ordered them, but they don't now. I had to exchange them for a different size.  I used mail order.

A couple of weeks ago, my doctor wanted me to see a cardiologist due to my labs from three months ago and my weight gain.  She wanted him to do a treadmill stress test which I am unable to complete due to my respiratory issues.  I told her that nothing has changed since my last visit except that I lost six pounds.  So, she and I decided to run labs again, but I needed to return "fasting."  I haven't gone back.

I also know that I've gained weight because my clothes are not fitting me the same.  I know I'm starting my menstrual cycle this coming week, but I am really angry with myself and discouraged that I will ever lose my weight by the methods advised by my dietician!!  And, I'm not even reaching my goal of six small meals per day. I don't know if I want to cry or scream...I do want to cut...not going there.

Weird Al ~ The Saga Begins


"The Saga Begins"
(Weird Al Yankovic)

 
A long, long time ago
In a galaxy far away
Naboo was under an attack
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
Could talk the federation into
Maybe cutting them a little slack
But their response, it didn't thrill us
They locked the doors and tried to kill us
We escaped from that gas
Then met Jar Jar and Boss Nass
We took a bongo from the scene
And we went to Theed to see the Queen
We all wound up on Tatooine
That's where we found this boy...

Oh my my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Did you know this junkyard slave
Isn't even old enough to shave
But he can use the Force, they say
Ah, do you see him hitting on the queen
Though he's just nine and she's fourteen
Yeah, he's probably gonna marry her someday
Well, I know he built C-3PO
And I've heard how fast his pod can go
And we were broke, it's true
So we made a wager or two
He was a prepubescent flyin' ace
And the minute Jabba started off that race
Well, I knew who would win first place
Oh yes, it was our boy

We started singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Now we finally got to Coruscant
The Jedi Council we knew would want
To see how good the boy could be
So we took him there and we told the tale
How his midi-chlorians were off the scale
And he might fulfill that prophecy
Oh, the Council was impressed, of course
Could he bring balance to the Force?
They interviewed the kid
Oh, training they forbid
Because Yoda sensed in him much fear
And Qui-Gon said "Now listen here"
"Just stick it in your pointy ear"
"I still will teach this boy"

He was singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

We caught a ride back to Naboo
'Cause Queen Amidala wanted to
I frankly would've liked to stay
We all fought in that epic war
And it wasn't long at all before
Little Hotshot flew his plane and saved the day
And in the end some Gunguns died
Some ships blew up and some pilots fried
A lot of folks were croakin'
The battle droids were broken
And the Jedi I admire most
Met up with Darth Maul and now he's toast
Well, I'm still here and he's a ghost
I guess I'll train this boy

And I was singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

We were singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi

Friday, May 7, 2010

Taking Care of Myself...

I'm taking care of myself today.  I'm pampering myself with a new make up application and then my favorite thing at my favorite store.  I hope that I don't spend too much money...well, sort of. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I feel like throwing up!!

The title of this post is a bit deceiving as I have never purged, but I just feel like I want to throw up as I feel so emotional.

I'm sorry everyone because I keep writing about my eating disorder, but this has been very emotional and difficult for me.  I don't feel like writing about other things right now or even enter my past journal entries which are somewhat less difficult. But, on Tuesday evening my clothes were picked up for donation except for five boxes which requires a second trip. The following is a letter that I wrote last night to my therapist.

May 5, 2010 ~ 7:15 pm

Gary,

I’m sorry that I brought up that Ed picked up my clothing yesterday at the very end of session. I really didn’t know that it was a deal for me. But, as you pointed out and I pointed out…my fragmenting started from Monday, at least. I was able to kind of hide it until today. I’m tearing up as I have so much ambivalence about this.

I wanted to donate the clothing and was excited to do so…didn’t know that there were approximately 400 pieces of clothing and that is without counting them all. And, they were the x-small, small, 24, 25, 00 & 0 sizes. Lots of really cute, cool stuff in them. I feel kind of empty, but it was a relief to donate them. Also, I think that I’m just giving up that I will ever be that size again. I know that it isn’t healthy and it scares me sometimes realizing how thin I became. But, I still want to be able to know that I can get there. But, donating them says, “No, I’m not going back there. I want to get better.”

Then, there is the other part that says, “I don’t have a problem and fitting into those clothes was okay.” I’m finally letting myself know how sick I was and that this is a problem…I guess, I’m still sick. I wanted to grab all the clothing back and tell him, “no, I’ll need them again.” I want to be that size, but I also realize that there is a huge cost and that I don’t want my life to revolve around food. I want to reach my goals especially earning my Psy.D.

I also feel a little scared about taking the steps that I have taken. Going through my clothes, donating them, working with a dietician, trying to cook one time a week and eat six small meals. All of this has and is much more difficult than I anticipated. It sounded easily doable and I thought that I could. But, I’m finding out there is more to this than just eating. Duh, like I didn’t know that. It is different experiencing it versus knowing it. After 30 years, it is a long time to change the way I eat, look at food, my body and my weight.

I know that it is a choice, but I don’t always choose the best one. Then, I think I am bad. I know self-hatred again. It really isn’t so much about control as it is about self-hatred, right? The wanting to disappear, the feeling that I don’t exist, and it is a slow suicide. It does come down further to self-care and self-comforting in non destructive ways. Also, wanting someone to take care of me. I have a lot of feelings, but I cannot identify them. However, I keep becoming tearful.

The needing to lose weight combined with trying not to starve is making my head spin.

How do I change something that I’ve struggled with for about 30 years…I know, I’m not, but I feel really alone tonight. I suppose, I should go eat dinner.

Love,
Coleen

P.S. ~ I’m also disappointed that I didn’t receive any comments on my Monday’s or Tuesday's posts regarding BPD and then Judy and Arleen. Again, wanting validation when it isn’t necessary.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Didn't Think It Would Be This Difficult!! ED Sucks!!!

This is what my recovery so far has been like.  I'm damned if I do and damned it I don't."  If I eat and meet my goal from my dietician, I feel good that I've met the goal except more of me is angry at myself for eating.  If I don't meet my goal, I feel angry and happy that I didn't eat.  It is just crazy feeling inside.  So many mixed feelings and so much ambivalence.

My veil of denial is being lifted and I don't like what I see.  I'm looking at how severe my eating disorder became and how my therapist should have hospitalized me, but knew I would not cooperate.  I'm noticing how much my thought life is consumed by my eating disorder.  It is exhausting and never ending.  It is a true addiction...addiction to not eating...same chemicals in the brain involved. 

Yet, still I sit here going, "do I eat dinner or not."  Knowing full well that it is a choice and that I have to decide.  But, I also know that it is difficult given that it is an addiction.  My therapist said that in light of how long and severe it became that this is supposed to be difficult and there is no way around it.  He also said that it is okay to go up and down and that it doesn't have to be perfect.  I really didn't expect this to be this difficult, so emotional or that it would take up so much of my time. 

I also, am trying to cook a meal this week as suggested by my dietician.  Well, yesterday I actually went grocery shopping and was so exhausted that I slept for three hours afterward.  My therapist focused on that accomplishment and that it was a start.  Tonight, I might do the prep and tomorrow cook.  We will see.  But the first decision is to eat or not tonight...?
Eating Disorder

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