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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ITD

INFUSION THERAPY DAY!!  HOPEFULLY, SEE YOU TOMORROW DEPENDING ON HOW I FEEL.  HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BLACK FRIDAY!!!

So, what did you do yesterday?  If you ventured into Black Friday, what was your experience? 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nordstrom Shopping

Don't strangle me, but my Christmas shopping was finished a week before Thanksgiving.  I can't believe that some stores began "Black Friday" the day after Halloween!!  Besides the fact that I love Nordstrom, it isn't Christmas season to me until I have a Nordstrom Christmas bag in hand.  I really appreciate the fact that they never put out any Christmas decorations until the day after Thanksgiving.  (picture below is from last year)  Happy Shopping Everyone!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankfuls

During the period before Thanksgiving, I always think about what what makes me thankful.  Usually, at the top of my list are relationship.  People are more important than things.  Below is my list for this year.  (not in any order except for the top four)

  1. God
  2. My husband and my marriage (fourteen years next year!)
  3. My therapist (we've hit the ninth year together!)
  4. My pastor (I've know him since 1982!)
  5. Family
  6. Church family
  7. Bible
  8. Pat & Ann
  9. Sylvia
  10. Internet friends especially Amy, Jim, Mark, Mike and Sandy
  11. Excellent physicians
  12. Friends that I have met through work and have maintained
  13. Making a difference in other peoples lives
  14. Those that have made a difference in my life

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank You in Song

If you have been following my blog, you will know that music is a big part of my life.  Music was a factor is helping me to survive my abusive childhood. I could lose myself in the music and become obsessive about all the trivia.  This is a tribute to all types of music including Christian music:




Monday, November 22, 2010

Tell Me That "It Gets Better"

I've been wondering why the "It Gets Better" project and the two song on my side bar have resonated with me so much.  I really seem to identify with them. My ENTIRE life I've had some type of suicidal thoughts and have struggled with bullying, harassment, threats even on my life and hopelessness.  I keep thinking that I wish that someone would have told me that "it gets better" although I'm not sure I would have believed them.

Currently, in therapy, I've been having my ups and downs with feeling hopeless which is actually a defense against just being myself. The first song, by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles is about showing your "true colors" or just being yourself to others.  This is so difficult to do as I've learned to really hide myself from others and myself. The second song, by Broadway singers, is an upbeat song about it getting better.  I am grateful as I know that hopeful place now. I'm not sure if I would have believed it growing up.

However, I am thankful that God put others in my life to give me hope at times and in there own way told me that it gets better.  Currently, I feel like He has given me some fabulous support and for that I am thankful.  As you listen to the songs, don't think of them as GLBT song, but as songs for yourself.  Songs of love and hope!!  (I promise no more video posts of these songs!)

Show your "True Colors" and remember that it really does "Get Better"


You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small


But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow


Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there


And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow




Hey friend,
When you feel like you're alone
And the world throws out a lot of hate

It's not the end
You're not out there on your own
There's still so much in life to celebrate

Just look up
Cause those skies are going to clear
There so much more than just the hear and now

Just look up
Cause a better day is here
Tomorrow feel the sunlight shining down

It gets better, better, better
The pain will let up, let up, let up
If you fall just get up, get up, get up

Ohh, cause there's another way
It gets better, better, better
The world gets lighter, lighter, lighter
So be a fighter, fighter, fighter

Ohh, just live to see that day
Yeah, live to see that day (that day)
Live to see that day

Hey friend,
We used to feel like you
No end in sight

Fearing everyday
Just defend the part of you that's true
Find yourself and you will find the way

Don't give up (Don't give up)
Just take another look
And you can shine
It's time you took the stage

Don't give up
Cause your life is like a book
All you got to do is turn the page

There are friends yet to meet,
There are songs to be sung
There are beautiful sunsets
And battles are won
There's love to be found if you just stick around
Don't give up your life has just begun

It gets better, better, better
The pain will let up, let up, let up
If you fall just get up, get up, get up

Ohh, cause there's another way
It gets better, better, better
The world gets lighter, lighter, lighter
So be a fighter, fighter, fighter

Ohh, just live to see that day
It gets better, better, better
The pain will let up, let up, let up
If you fall just get up, get up, get up

Ohh, cause there's another way
It gets better, better, better
The world gets lighter, lighter, lighter
So be a fighter, fighter, fighter

Ohh, just live to see that day
It gets better, better, better
The world gets lighter, lighter, lighter
So be a fighter, fighter, fighter

Ohh, just live to see that day
It gets better, better, better
It gets better, better, better
It gets better, better, better
It gets better, better, better

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Awareness Test!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Abandonment Issues

In addition to what I've already wrote this week, during this period, my husband was also working crazy hours.  12-14 hour days, 21 days in a row, weekends, etc which brought up feeling of abandonment.  (BPD issue)  I've never really done this before, but I started to worry that he wasn't coming home and getting angry.  The day would change as it went, so one hour I thought that he would be home and have such and such day off only for it to change the next minute or hour.

I discovered that it really tapped into a reservoir of feelings that my mother wasn't coming home or that I didn't know when she would.  Also, it tapped into my feelings of "but you promised."  So many broken promises by so many in my life.  I was trying to keep the two separated the feeling of the present versus the past with some success.  Even so, this remain a big issue for me.  It is expected that he will go through a period like this again this year and at the beginning of next year.

My husband as well as my therapist provide a significant source of grounding for me, so this has been particularly difficult.  Both have been extremely supportive.  I'm trying to learn to find grounding in myself and not others...I should have learned this from my mother like so many other things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Denial

As I mentioned on Monday, I've been having a difficult time since my birthday in August.  In addition to my aunt not acknowledging my birthday in any way shape or form, neither did my mother.  I know that this isn't true, but both doing this resulted in my feeling like I don't exist or that something is wrong with me.  This is also part of having a Borderline Personality Disorder.  Those with BPD look for others to validate their existence, obtain self worth and use others as a mirror to tell them who they are.  This occurs because those factors that form a stable identity were not provided by the primary caretaker, usually the mother.

Yes, indeed these thoughts and feelings are still a struggle.  Additionally, it has been about a year since I wrote my letter to my mother.  She has not responded to me either which makes me realize that she really can't deal with reality and, as others have put it, doesn't have a maternal instinct.  It is like the letter didn't exist once again ignoring my needs and problems.  I do realize that she really cannot manage this, but it still stirs up lots of feelings and thoughts.

Sorry, to be so vague, but what I'm dealing with is difficult to go through and tough to write and talk about. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friends!

Well, I have some fun updates.  I'm sorry that these are not timely, but life sometimes gets in the way. It doesn't make these less important. I also want to apologize as I haven't felt up to writing or reading or commenting on posts that I have read. I really do enjoy the ones that I follow and more.

Back in early November, I received "You Inspire Me" award from justana at Hella Heaven.  This one was special as I love what it means.  This is not an meme, but I will award a few people later. 

This felt very good to recieve as my last award was in one in 2009 and one in 2008. 

I also have the honor of being invited to post at Mike Golch's two blogs, Golch Central's Rambling Stuff and Mike's Place.  I am having a great time.

All three of these are excellent blogs with a variety of topics, so please go visit them.

Thank you for the honor of the award and for the honor of writing for another blog!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying to be Real...again

Well, for over a month, I kept writing that I wasn't up to writing about what has been going on for me as it has been a very difficult time which basically started on my birthday which was in August.  Much of it has to do with my mother and my aunt not acknowledging my birthday in any way shape or form.  (click link for information regarding my situation with my aunt: http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/search/label/Family%20Drama; situation with my mother: http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/search/label/letter%20to%20mom.)

Part of my difficulty is with my aunt not responding is that she was emotionally my mother growing up. But, in looking at her behavior and reactions over the past years, I have realized that she too has a Borderline Personality Disorder. My therapist and I have been working on my feelings of abandonment, disappointment, reality versus fantasy, grief, anger...etc.  It has been really hard work.

When I first had the thought that my aunt may have a Borderline Personality Disorder, I was immediately able to go through the criteria in my head and confirm my thoughts. I actually felt sick and quite disheartened, but it made everything make sense.  But, I wanted to scream, "NO!!"

I want to again review the DSM criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder and how my aunt meets the criteria. (I've already written about how my mother and I fit it...sigh)


According to the DSM the criteria to meet borderline personality disorder the five of the following features must be present:
 
1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.


4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7. chronic feelings of emptiness

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms


1. Frantic attempts to prevent feelings of actual or preceived abandonment or rejection. People with BPD rely on others for their feelings of worth and emotional caretaking. The fearfulness can be so strong that they often act in ways that bring about the abandonment and rejection they are trying to avoid (and which therefore validates and reinforces their fears). They panic and may have burst of rage or beg the person to stay.

My aunt has definitely developed this type of relationship with her partner, but I won't share details.  There are many instances.


2. Patterns of relationships that are intense and unstable; repeated tendencies to shift between extremes of loving and hating another person. This is referred to as splitting, people with BPD have difficulty experiencing two feeling states at one time. An example would be that some is all bad and ungiving versus all good and idealized. It may happen without any provocation or even any interaction.

Recently, due to my interactions with my aunt and my pushing her away in the process I've become "all bad" to her.  Additionally, I am trying not to believe that she pushed me out of her life for fifteen years...somehow, I denied that it was ever important.  Reality sucks!! And is painful.

3. Difficulty describing the self, interests, or aspirations; frequent shifts in self-perception. Depending on who they are with, they may change their opinion, thoughts and even values to please the other person. There is a chronic feeling of emptiness. Roles played could be the over-achiever, the victim, the helper or caretaker. They need someone else to tell them who they are.

I've seen this happen over the years with different family members and not to an extreme sense with her partner.  It has also been demonstrated in her work in the medical field.

4. Impulsive, often reckless, self-harming behaviors in areas such as substance abuse, binge eating, overspending, promiscuous sex, reckless driving, shoplifting, etc. All of these are addictive behaviors and temporarily fill the emptiness. There is a very high connection between BPD and substance abuse.

Denial can be quite powerful as I completely thought of her behavior as normal and not problematic in this area.  I believe that she eats emotionally.  She has always spent beyond her means and has had serious consequences as a result. She definitely has had problems with road rage to a point that she really scares me. Also, all the family tells of the incident where she became so enraged with her brother that she threw a knife at him intending to kill him...denial what a concept.

5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. The suicide rate is high for this disorder at 8%-10% of those diagnosed with BPD. People with BPD have many, many, many periods of overwhelming uncontrollable emotional pain. Self-mutilation is a coping mechanism used to release or manage these emotions. Usually they are feelings of shame, anger, sadness and abandonment. Self-mutilation may release the body’s own opiates, known as beta-endorphins. These chemicals lead to a general feeling of well being. Self-mutilation may include, but is not limited to cutting, burning, breaking bones, head banging, needle poking, skin scratching, pulling out hairs, and ripping off scabs – all without suicidal intent.

To my knowledge this does not seem to fit her, but I don't know her as well as I thought.

6. Frequent mood swings and intense emotional reactions, irritability or anxiety of changing duration – anywhere from a few hours to a few days. A Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde situation with switching from happy and loving to furious, fearful, or depressed within hours or less. Often, the person himself doesn’t remember–or claims not to remember-what was said or done during this state. When most people feel bad, they can take steps to feel better. They can also control, to some extent, how much their moods affect their relationships with others. People with BPD have difficulty doing this.

Let me just say that this fits her.

7. Ongoing or frequent feelings of being hollow, empty or fake; chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD commonly report a deep sense of boredom or a profound emptiness, which is why they may turn to drugs or alcohol, become obsessed with money and possession, or harm themselves. Lacking a strong core, a sense of self they can trust, they feel out of control and dependent upon others, forever victimized. Despite their sometimes larger than life, hard to ignore exterior, those with BPD are sometimes described by loved ones and clinicians as seeming hollow and as putting up a façade.



I think that she fills herself with her relationship with her partner who basically gives her a role to play, just as she did with my mother and myself.
 9. Brief extreme periods of mistrust, paranoia, of feelings of unreality (numbness, disconnection, dissociation).

8. Either underexpressed or overexpressed feelings of anger, seen in frequent displays of temper, rage, recurrent physical fights, or extreme sarcasm or withdrawl. Rages. Many adult children know them all too well, whether the trigger is a coat hung askew in the closet, a spilled drink, a loud TV, sickness, the suggestion that the person with BPD doesn’t remember something the way others do, or a request for divorce. Whether precipitated by something seemingly trivial or serious, the storm-not uncommonly comprised of verbal assaults or physical abuse-can subside just as quickly as it rolled in.


I think that some of things that I've already mentioned fit this criteria.  Additionally, at work, they know her as very sweet, a hard worker, patient with others and gets along well.  However, the whole family speaks of her TEMPER and she is extremely sarcastic!!!

I generally think that she mistrusts others and is protective of herself mostly when not necessary.

In general, ironically, I am disconnecting and becoming numb writing this.  It is painful to realize that she really has pushed me out of her life and that her above behavior is actually problematic and that she doesn't even realize it.  Her partner reinforces this by not seeing my aunt as having problems...it is always someone else's responsibility or that it is just circumstances. 

I also think that realizing that she is sick and that I know what it feels like to have BPD that it saddens me.  It also makes me realize that she has really made choices about me in her life.  I feel like I don't exist to her and in turn I have difficulty feeling like I exist.

Also, it brings up feelings about my relationship with my mother who chose my step-father over my well being and now my aunt is choosing her partner over me.  I also have to look at how my behavior has added to my aunt's reactions to me.  I am also quite angry about how her partner has "painted me as ALL bad," and that my aunt doesn't take into account what she really knows about me.  (Yes, I know what doing that is like; however, it is to keep things calm with her partner who also has a BPD)

Okay, there is some of what I have been and am trying to deal with...finally I've been able to put words to it and share it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!!!





Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank God It's Friday!!

Friday On My Mind by the Easybeats:



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jersey Thursday

Jersey Thursday by Donovan:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Morning, 3AM

"Wednesday Morning, 3AM" by Simon & Garfunkel:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon

Well, I'm still not quite up to posting my more emotional stuff and feel like I need a little fun this week...Can you see a theme?  :-)

Live:


Moody Blues Extended Version:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Monday!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Not Up To Par

I just don't feel like sharing today.  )Unrelated, I have infusion therapy today.) But, the one thing I am think of is: Denial is great until you realize that either way you are in pain.  Denial and defenses are painful and so is the pain that you are defending against. (Hopefully, Wednesday or Thursday I will be up to posting more...depending on how wiped out I get today with my treatment.  Be well and take care of yourself!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

This last month has been a good break for me and I hope you enjoyed my selections for GLBT History Month.  Now, it back to my more personal blogging and a lot has happened in the last month.  For now, let me just say that I've been having a difficult time and my emotional world seems to be in a whirl.

I also joined Facebook!! I can't believe I've been drawn into its snare. I am also using my real name there with a link to this blog...gulp!!  I guess if I'm going to be more open and honest...my coming out of the closet, so to speak, this is one way.  As such, I'm being careful as to who I add as a friend.  I am trying to figure out how to add the add a friend button to this site...hopefully, I'll figure it out.

On this blog are many things that no one really knows about me.  I guess, I am starting to stop hiding behind my anonymity.  Scary thought especially since I have two family members as friends.  My websites are only open to friend. Once, I figure out the button thingy, I'll post it here.

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