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Slice of Wisdom

“Love, I discovered, is being still enough to feel all that is going on inside of you and then learning how to acknowledge and accept what you feel.”

Iyanla Vanzant, In The Meantime

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Releasing The Guilt

Finally being able to a call, a thing! My God, what a relief! I’ve felt the crippling feeling of guilt, shame and misguided love my entire life. The kind of feelings that make you question whether you’re worth anything at all. And it all wouldn’t be possible without my mother.

My mother, an undiagnosed BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), has wreaked havoc in my life since as long as I can remember.

How can the person whose supposed to love you and hold you and reassure you that the outside world is cruel — not the inside — hurt you so badly and so intentionally?

When the feeling of your mother’s embrace is something that you want to badly but when it happens it feels like a thousand and one lies. A constant game of bait and switch, where her only happiness comes when she’s provoking anger and proving that everyone is inherently evil.

I write this passage tonight because I’m going through therapy and need a release. Because as I learn more about this mental illness and hear stories of the countless who have suffered at the hands of a mother with BPD — I need to acknowledge my feelings.

A symptom of a child with a BPD parent is that they learn to hide how they really feel — for fear that it may upset the parent. I can’t hold it in any longer. I have to say what’s on my heart so that it can begin to heal.

I’m not sure if I love her. I can most definitely say that I didn’t learn love from her — not the true, authentic love. If anything it’s been anger and pity all mixed into one. I’m not sure if she’s ever truly loved me at all. My therapist stated that she could hate me. She said that individuals with BPD are thieves that steal love.

My hope and wish is to constantly remind myself that I will feel better one day and to rely on my inner strength, self-worth, friendships and self-love. I’ll start with releasing the guilt of being responsible for my childhood and remember all that I’m grateful for.

  1. A great education that allows me to earn an income and not be dependent on a BPD mother.
  2. The ability to love and empathize with people even if I’ve never been in their situation.
  3. The ability to think before I speak and apologize when my actions are hurtful.
  4. The ability to sing and act and dance and draw and paint.
  5. My great friendships that have lasted me 10+ years with some really amazing people who love me no matter what.
  6. A father who has always been my greatest supporter and best hug giver and advice giver.
  7. My love of people and animals and travel and chocolate.
  8. The love of a God who gave me the strongest test because He knows I have a purpose (still trying to find it).
  9. An able body, mind and soul that can rationalize, reason and love.
  10. An eye for design and good taste.
  11. The ability to tune out the negative and focus on the positive.
  12. My persistence and ability to plan and negotiate.
  13. The love of an extraordinary girl named Michelle — a woman that makes me feel that even the worst part of me is never as bad I see it.
  14. For all 50 states making it legal to marry. Woohoo!
  15. For Broadway, Opera, Pop Music, Indie, Festivals, Concerts, 50s Music.

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My Mother Has BPD

What a relief! To hear someone finally say that I hadn’t been crazy my entire life for thinking my mother had some type of mental illness. Yesterday, I was finally validated and assured that it wasn’t me — it was my mother.

BPD, Borderline Personality Disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always been inconsistent with her behavior. She was very physically abusive when I was a child as well mentally and emotionally. Although the physical abuse has subsided I still have many triggers and emotional upsets It doesn’t help that I still live with her (yikes!)

I moved back in at the age of 26 last year and have been living there a full year. I’m trying to get my life on track financially so that I can move on and do bigger and better things. My dad lives with us as well – he’s a God send. If it weren’t for my dad, I swear I’d be in an insane asylum. He’s my rock. Unfortunately, he’s also the target for many of my mother’s demands and mood swings. That’s a whole other ball of wax.

I’m hoping that by attending therapy regularly, learning more about BDP and interacting with a support group will help my feelings of deep inadequacy and emotional instability be replaced by feelings of empowerment.

Do you anyone living with BPD? If so, how do you cope?

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Here’s What You Will Be Told

Find a man
Seek protection
The world is scary
Don’t go out
You are weak
Don’t care so much
They’re only animals
Don’t be so intense
Don’t cry so much
You can’t trust anyone
Don’t talk to strangers
People will take advantage of you
Close your legs

Girls aren’t good with:
Numbers
Facts
Making difficult decisions
Lifting things
Putting things together
International news
Flying planes
Being in charge.
If he rapes you, surrender,
You will get killed trying to defend yourself
Don’t travel alone
You are nothing without a man
Don’t make the first move,
Wait for him to notice you
Don’t be too loud
Follow the crowd
Obey the laws
Don’t know too much
Tone it down
Find someone rich
It’s how you look that matters,
Not what you think.

Here’s What I’m Telling You:
Everyone’s making everything up
There is no one in charge except for those
Who pretend to be
No one is coming
No one is going to
Rescue you
Mind-read your needs
Know your body better than you

Always fight back
Ask for it
Say you want it
Cherish your solitude
Take trains by yourself to places
You have never been
Sleep out under the stars
Learn how to drive a stick shift
Go so far away that you stop being afraid of
Not coming back
Say no when you don’t want to do something
Say yes if your instincts are strong
Even if everyone around you disagrees
Decide whether you want to be liked or admired
Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out
What you’re doing here
Believe in kissing
Fight for tenderness
Care as much as you do
Cry as much as you want
Insist the world be theater
And love the drama
Take your time
Move as fast as you do
As long as it’s your speed.

Ask yourself these questions:
Why am I whispering when I have something to say?
Why am I adding a question mark at the end
Of all my sentences?
Why am I apologizing every time I express my needs?
Why am I hunching over?
Starving myself when I love food?
Pretending it doesn’t mean that much to me?
Hurting myself when I mean to scream?
Why am I waiting
Whining
Pining
Fitting in?
You know the truth:
Sometimes it does hurt that much
Your mother wanted more than that
It’s easier to be mean than smart
But that isn’t who you are.”

-Eve Ensler

Thoughts Before My Solo Journey

It was 6 days before I left for Europe on my own. I was leaving for a continent that I had never visited and I was going at it alone. Was I scared? Hell yes. I thought I should call everyone I know and tell them how much I love them because there could be a chance I wasn’t going to make it back.

Late 2013 to mid-2014 represented to me some of the greatest challenges I had ever faced. I was coming to face-to-face with the monster. The one that had been living way deep down inside and was now breaking it’s way to the surface. I would characterize my monster as the constant welp in my throat, the tears at the brim of my eyelids, the ghostly pale look on my face, the quiet (and not so quiet sobs) that were happening more and more frequently.

My monster was shaking me back and forth on the inside and forcing me to deal with the demons. The demon was my childhood. And my relationships were a constant reminder of what I hadn’t dealt with and forgiven.

My childhood, which taught me that love will always hurt, that people who take roles as protectors and lovers will always take what they can from you. That they’ll always tell you that you’re not good enough and show you all of the different ways you don’t measure up. In this instance it was my boss telling me I wasn’t a good writer, that I should do things like other people, that I was a squirrel frantically gathering nuts, who made me work long hours and e-mailed and called at any time of the day. Or my girlfriend who told me that she hated the way I chewed, that my breathing was terrible, that my friends thought there was something wrong with me, that I was too friendly to everyone, that everyone I looked up was someone I wanted to sleep with, screaming and calling me a bitch and other horrible things, and so and so forth.

Well I left the physical representation of those demons in my hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. and I moved to a sunnier place — south Florida. Once I removed myself from the situation physically, I was able to focus on the mental and emotional. This meant prayer, reading, meditation, writing, listening to music, watching films, getting a job.

It’s been an incredible and at times trying eight months but it has been so worth it. I never thought that my life would ever be this drastically changed. I never thought in a million years that when I left my hometown so broken, I would end up traveling thousands of miles by myself to a foreign land with just a backpack.

I left on December 21, 2014 and returned January 3, 2015. What happened there was life changing and reinstilled in me who I have been all along. A forward thinking, courageous, strong, independent woman. 10846026_10100565798209732_2490532774984802953_n

Slice of Wisdom

If you don’t let it out you’ll carry the pain for a lifetime.

Click to view the video and notice the difference between a 27-year old male releasing the pain vs. his mother who has carried the rage her whole life.

Would you choose to start the healing today? Or convince yourself that later is a better time or that the pain will eventually subside?

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Slice of Wisdom

Forgiveness is for you, not for the other person. You can forgive someone and still be strongly affected by their way of being. Forgiveness does not mean full acceptance of that person’s behavior nor does it mean that you have to actively engage with them. Sometimes it’s best to forgive and to love them from a distance.

-Yessy Gutierrez, Who Were You Today? (WWYT)