Implying that a person’s preexisting mental illness meant they deserved their trauma or abuse is like saying any other vulnerable population deserves to be abused. Saying that a mental illness that causes people to make “bad decisions” is placing the blame on the person, not the perpetrator. This is victim blaming. This all leads back to the stigma surrounding mental illness. A child does not deserve to be abused. Nor a homeless person, a sick person, or any other vulnerable individuals.
I spent my entire life telling myself I was a good, caring, selfless person. But I’m also self-centred, selfish, overreactive and sometimes I do bad things. I’m struggling to find the balance. In my mind I can only be all good or all bad. At this point I don’t know who or what I am.
This is where broken people are.
This is where they wipe their tears away
And put on a new face;
A shiny, glossy mask.
They meet other
Shiny, glossy people and exchange superficial pleasantries.
This is for the people afraid of being alone;
Afraid of being marooned –
By a willfully blind puppet master.
They look for another,
Convincing themselves that they are the ones in control.
This is where the hopeful people are.
This is where the lost people are.
Passing through crowds of people,
But not really seeing a single face.
Trying to both remember and forget,
Wishing they knew now only what they knew then.
Searching for a shard of resemblance
Of a happier time.
This is where she shall drift,
Thanks for picking me up and carrying my when I was down. I blog about my pain, heartache, and troubles a lot – I often forget to acknowledge the overwhelming support I have. It would be an understatement to simply say I was “lucky”. This was no luck of the draw. I am blessed and eternally grateful for the people who walked into my life and never left. Practicing gratitude humbles our struggles. Make a point to do this more every day.
Thank you SC; CLB; RN; ACN; EG; TK; FC; EM; PW; RC; AEM; WC; SP; AV; DRB.
People say when it comes to friendship, it is better to have 4 quarters rather than 100 pennies. I am grateful to have so many people who support me, who are all worth more than their weight in gold.
I am grateful for the people I have only met within the past few months, who were kind enough to listen, value my friendship and remained in my life. I am so grateful for their willingness to have open and honest conversations and withholding judgement, instead replacing it with genuine curiosity. I’m grateful for the people who spoke to me and were open to me, even if it wasn’t always easy.
I am grateful for the family who stand by me no matter what and listen non judgementally, and respond with love and honestly. Words can’t express the gratitude I have. I may have had many difficult experiences with people, my diagnosis, and my self image, but I was given the most supportive people imaginable to be my closest support network. I am especially grateful for my parents for being so calm and open about my situation. I am always afraid to tell them when I relapse, yet they always respond with nothing but warmth, love, and concern. I am grateful for my sister and cousin, two of my best friends. I am grateful for their love, ambition, and honesty. I love the unconditional support they give to me; the support that I am eagerly willing to return.
I’m grateful for the girls I work with or went to school with, who have come to be like family: always supportive, always a shoulder to cry on, always a friendly pair of listening ears. Their unique and distinct personalities all provide me with insight from many perspectives, and though they are all very different, their love is all equally strong and supportive of not only me but each other. I’m grateful to be surrounded by such intelligent, caring, genuine women. They are an inspiration and after many difficult experiences in my past, they showed the profound impact of women sticking together and supporting each other unconditionally. I am not only inspired by the times where we were loving and supportive, but also by times of conflict. They always proved my fears wrong, and our friendship always shone through.
I am grateful for my guy best friends from home, who each lend me their own unique perspectives. Again, they are all very different, but they are all the same in their love, concern, and friendship. They are all the protective brothers that I never had, each offering their insight when it comes to my boy problems. After the experiences I have had with previous boyfriends, I have come to realize that love is not only the one who is in a romantic relationship with you. Love is also undying support, the strength of friendship, and wanting the best for one another. I have many perceptions and suspicions about boys, but I also need to remember that they are not all like the ones who have hurt me.
Having BPD is hard. Having depression is hard. Being chronically suicidal is hard. But I have come to realize that my pain and suffering has brought out the good in so many people. It has given all these people the chance to shine and it has given me the privilege of watching them do so. It has attracted the biggest hearts and the most genuinely wonderful people. I honestly do think that my friends are truly good human beings. After having so much love in my life, it has made it easier and easier to shut out toxic people. Thank you all for being there for me; I sincerely hope I have given as much to you as you have given to me.
Tw self harm
Remember that blade I took? The one I wanted to take for a long time? I used it. And it was so sharp. It cut deeper than I thought it would. The blood was everywhere. Everywhere. No one else will want me now. You said you were my friend. You said you’d be there for me. And then you fucked me over. Deny as much as you want but you fucked me over. You’re a shitty friend. You’re a shitty person. It’s deeper than I thought. Oh God, it’s deeper than I thought. I can’t stop the blood. Just a light graze leaves a mark. What if I press harder? It doesn’t matter I can’t feel a thing. I can’t stop. Even though purple is usually my favorite, today, right now, it is red. Red is my favorite colour. And I want more. I love red. The colour that flows out of my body. I love it. Let me pull it out until my vision fades; until my there’s nothing more. Until I’m pale and drained. Until I’m dry and decaying. Red is so beautiful. Yet I am not. Take the beauty out of my body. Separate it from my ugly soul. Let the red stain my sheets and let it bring beauty to my surroundings. Drain it from my veins; drain it from my arteries.
17. 17. Seventeen. 10+7. Only 17 of them. Only 17 sources of beautiful red. Maybe more soon. Who knows? Who cares.
She lived in a bubble. She was hesitant around strangers and was slow to open up. But when she did open up, she was loving, bright, and affectionate.
Over time, through the people she encountered, and situations she experienced, she learned it was better to stay in a bubble. She kept people at a distance. Because, as she had learned, physical affection means you’re asking for more.
She would flinch when others would touch or hug her, friends and strangers alike. She always kept her distance while yearning for closeness. She was lonely when she was not alone. She was starved for affection, yet her fear and anxiety held her back.
Somehow she ended up in relationships with others who would not be affectionate. “I don’t like holding hands,” they would say. “I hate PDA,” even when it was an arm around the shoulder or a hand on the knee. So it became normal for her.
“Why are you so codependent? Why are you so clingy?” they would say. Even though she thought her requests were normal, they made her doubt herself. Her doubts turned into shame, and her shame manifested itself as bitterness, self hatred, and jealousy. She had accepted that it would always have to be this way.
TW SELF HARM SUICIDE GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS
You could never, ever understand how it is to be at this point. To be consumed by all the reasons why you’re damaged. To have an intense surge of insight, where the swirling fog of uncertainty and fear disappears. Clear as the day, the only thing visible is the thought that things will never change.
You’ll never understand the simultaneous relief to have an answer and despair at the prospect of staying this way forever. Not just pain, it’s suffering.
I no longer feel as if I have a hole inside of me. I feel like there is an inescapable vacuum that sucks up any good that I produce or that others bring to me.
I don’t think you’ll ever understand – I hope you never understand. I hope you never understand the feeling of lying on your bed eyeing that ultra sharp blade you’ve scavenged after many nights of resisting temptation. Wanting to cut so deep you need stitches, to lose so much blood you pass out and maybe never wake up.
I’m so beaten and broken down, actually dying would just be a formality.
In music, consonance is when a chord or progression is pleasant to hear. It is harmonious; it sounds nice. On the other hand, dissonance is associated with unpleasantness and instability. Dissonance is perhaps when a pianist makes a mistake and accidentally hits the wrong notes. The sound is harsh and jarring.
Similarly, the term “cognitive dissonance” refers to the uncomfortable feeling we get when our beliefs do not align – when they are not in harmony with each other. Individuals that tend to think in extremes (black and white thinking, idealization/devaluation, etc.) may do so in order to reconcile their cognitive dissonance. In BPD this may occur in the individuals unstable sense of self or relationships.
For example, an individual who has the habitual belief that they are worthless or unimportant may experience cognitive dissonance when receiving compliments or while experiencing success. Their beliefs about themselves are being challenged and this makes them uncomfortable. One way the individual may try to dissolve this discomfort and sticking to their beliefs is to tell themself that these compliments were untrue or insincere. “They didn’t mean it, they were just being polite”. Another way that the individual may try to rationalize their beliefs is by downplaying their success. “I got lucky. It wasn’t that hard in the first place. Given my situation, I probably should have done even better than I did”.
These thoughts may temporarily dispel that cognitive dissonance, but the individual will experience the same discomfort again and again. The BPD individual who sees themself as “all-bad” will struggle to change their thought patterns that have been so deeply ingrained into them.
Another example is when an individual is in a relationship (platonic or otherwise). Individuals with BPD are likely to experience idealization/devaluation in their relationships, meaning they may switch suddenly from seeing their friend or partner as “all-good” or “all-bad”. Perhaps a friend cancelled plans or did not respond in a way that was expected. The BPD individual may turn to devaluation and perceive their friend as being a terrible person. They may believe their friend hates them or is trying to avoid them. However, there may be underlying discomfort because there are many other times where the friend has shown loyalty, trustworthiness, and love. In order to remove this incompatibility, the BPD individual may experience “tunnel vision” and block out any past positive experiences with the friend.
If experiencing cognitive dissonance as above, here are guidelines that have worked for me personally.
- Observe the discomfort. Write down the thoughts you are having. Acknowledge the judgements and assumptions.
- Look at the facts. Next, write down any factual evidence that supports or disproves your thoughts. Remember: facts are facts. Facts are not “probably’s” or “maybe’s”. Facts are not judgements or assumptions.
- Compare the thoughts and the facts. Do they align? If they do not, reconsider other possibilities.
- Express gratitude or acknowledge achievements and successes.
Further reading: How Cognitive Dissonance Relates to Relationships
are talking to me. They’re saying you’re a psycho. You’re obsessed and sad and pathetic. You’re trying to feel better – but do you deserve to feel better?
Rip the hair out of your head but you won’t get rid of me. I’ll always be here. I’ll always be here.
You can’t rely on yourself but you can always count on me to be here. This is where you belong and deserve to live and die.
Here is home. Listen to me. I won’t leave you. You can tell me your problems and woes. I won’t make you feel better, but I’ll always be there to listen.
I will tell you what you already believe. What you want is for people to lie to you. To tell you that what you’re feeling is understandable.
I will tell you the truth. I will remind you that you are worthless and you deserve to be knocked down because frankly, you’ve been happier for much longer than you deserve.
You always get what you want. It’s time you relearn what suffering is.
So take it, stew in it, become it. Become the pain and self hatred.
Become the bad thoughts.
I am who you are. Let me guide you.
Let me in.
Let me drive you into the ground where you belong.
Addressed to my friends and family.
I feel worthless, hopeless, and small. I don’t want to tell you because you’re logical and you’ll ask why. Then when I tell you, I know you won’t understand. Or you’ll think, oh here we go again, when will she learn?
I am too self aware for my own good – I know that logically the “reasons” I am upset make no sense. I know that. But here I am feeling empty and withdrawn, and I already feel like that. I need help with that feeling. I want to rant about the root of my problem and I want you to patiently tell me the logical way to think about it. Because I simply do not have the ability to think about it logically in this state.
I want you to validate me – tell me that it must be hard for me going through this even if you don’t understand why. That’s all I want. Even if you cannot fathom why anyone would ever be upset over what I am sad about, tell me you understand that it must be hard for me.
I am telling you that I am not sitting here crying for attention and drama. I am not being a drama queen. I don’t want to tell you about my problems and have you jump up and tell me you’ll fix it all, or you’ll beat up who hurt me, or you’ll find justice for me. I don’t want to be dependent on alcohol or cutting or sex or drugs. I want a friendly face, a coffee, dinner, ice cream, a hug. I want you to listen and help me dissolve the pain.
Thanks for reading.