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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Quote

Slice of Wisdom

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

-14th Dalai Lama

How Someone Seemingly Warm Can Be So Cold

You know that feeling you get when there’s something that strikes a chord within you but you hold it back? When you’re so angry or sad you could cry but quickly change the subject or walk away?

For years I’ve had no issue being the loud, funny one in the group. The one who makes the group laugh and tries to deflect any subject from turning too emotional. Yup, that’s me.

Now to my friends it may seem that I’m an open book. That I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I’m willing to discuss any topic, but the truth is there are some things that I’ve trembled at the thought of being broached. And my heart on my sleeve? Well, that’s just me being hyper-sensitive.

Singing, laughing, speaking, shouting has never been an issue but crying and expressing my hurt has never been easy and understanding the why has allowed me to begin to work through how to change it for the better.

I’ve noticed that in my family there’s a lot of deflection from raw emotions when difficult times arise. We are afraid to cry, because we were never taught to how to receive a crying person. It was never taught that when someone feels sad, that you comfort them either by soothing words or an embrace that lets you know you’re safe and it’s okay to feel the way you feel.

What ends up happening is that you first, get stared at. Then, if you’re lucky they’re sympathetic and give you a pat on the back with a quick hug and try to bring up the positives (sometimes they’re very far-reaching) so that you don’t have to dwell on whatever thoughts led you to tears.

If you’re not lucky you are told that things are not that bad and that crying is an overreaction to what you’re feeling. I swear I can’t stand that!

The reason for why I want to change it is because I want to create a space for any future relationship/children where anyone can be comfortable to just feel and not be judged.

There are a few rules that I would like to put out into the universe for how to deal with a person that is in a state of sadness/grief. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to comment – I’d love to hear what has worked for you as the cryer or the comforter.

  1. Don’t tell someone not to feel a certain way. They already feel that way — it is not helpful!
  2. Don’t tell someone not to cry. Crying cleanses the soul and allows any pain that’s been dwelling inside to come out.
  3. Don’t assume that someone is only crying about the present situation. Everyone is a complex being and in times of sadness many other memories could be flooding in.
  4. Reassure someone that you are there for them. It’s not always necessary to try and fix the issue. There are often times that certain matters can only be fixed by the one in distress and on their own time.
  5. Ask them if they want to talk about what they’re thinking. Simply listening can do wonders for the other person. Let them let it out without interjecting too much.
  6. Touch. Often times a person who holds in a lot can be triggered to finally release their emotions by a simple hug or a holding of the hand.
  7. Offer them water. Crying and letting out steam can cause shortness of breath. Offer them water to help calm them.

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