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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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?

Top 5 Worst Male Dating Tips from Girlfriends

Now some of you may have read that I’ve dated both men and women. This post will focus specifically on dating males and the bullshit my straight girlfriends have spewed out in the form of advice. Here goes: The top 5 worst things ever advised on the opposite sex (to me anyways).

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1.     “Well, he’s really trying!”

I’m sorry? Am I supposed to keep giving a guy chances just because he’s trying? I mean if I specifically tell a man that I’m not interested and he responds with his burning profession of love, why am I supposed to be automatically wooed and accept him as my newfound mate? Come on ladies, let’s give ourselves more credit. A nice guy with a great speech is not all a girl needs. We need chemistry, sense of security, attraction — we’re not old maids looking for handouts.

2.     “You can’t tell if it’ll work in a conversation, you’ve got to give it a good while.”

No. I’m quite capable of knowing within the first 5-10 minute if it’s going to go anywhere. It’s called my gut, women’s intuition, whatever you want to call it. I know the truth of myself and I would much rather move onto the next instead entertaining a guy who eh, maybe has a nice job and car but doesn’t necessarily enjoy trying new foods, travel, discovering new cultures, believe in marriage or children. Yeah. Knowing myself, I don’t need to give that one another go-around of my time.

3.     “He’s cute, why don’t you like him?”

Um…because that’s not all I’m looking for? A pretty face, great smile and sparkly eyes aren’t all I need. Have women forgotten their worth? I mean what’s with pressuring two good looking people together as if that’s the only measure we have for determining the successful outcome of a couple? Yeah, no thanks. I’ll stick with my number 2: conversation and connection is a must.

4.     “OK. So he doesn’t have it all together. You should still give him a shot.”

I have to strongly disagree with this one. Above all of them. I worked hard to get through school, graduate, find internships, get hired onto a great company, re-build my life, try and come to terms with my past — I don’t have time to deal with someone who seemingly still has a long way to go in terms of getting their life together. Life is easier when you try to find someone who can level with you. It’s a bad start if you both aren’t on the same page.

5.     “Maybe he was just being funny.”

I don’t excuse rudeness or crudeness as funny. Especially if I’m just getting to know you. I mean, it’s assumed that when you first meet someone you should be putting on your A-game. If right out the gate, you’re profane or rude — I’m already gripping the edge my seat wondering how you’d be if we actually dated. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. If on the second date, you’re pointing out that a close friend of mine resembles a cartoon character…yeah, you’re a classless d-bag and I won’t be answering your calls. Work on your conversation skills.

It’s Not a Steady Uphill Climb

As some of you may have read from previous entries, the past six months have been quite the journey. I left my city, an abusive relationship and an extremely stressful job and moved back in with my parents. I was in the midst of a physical, emotional and mental breakdown.

The day I made the decision to leave it all behind was the first step. Then came the loneliness in dealing with the steps that followed. I may or may not have called Dr. Laura on her XM Channel for advice — God, I was desperate.

In the last six months, I have experienced highs and lows like never before. It has been years since I’d let myself have a good cry and boy, did it last! I had those deep, wailing cries where you literally feel like you’re brain might explode. Those cries where your mind thinks of every moment that has led up to that cry. You remember all of your failed relationships, the times when you were rejected, when someone told you that you weren’t good enough, or the time when your best friend told you that couldn’t bring your girlfriend to her wedding due to religious reasons (yeah, that happened and it still hurt). That type of cry.

Now eventually the wailing subsided and I was no longer crying alongside the car next to me in Monday morning traffic (you wouldn’t believe how many times this has happened). The tears stopped (kinda) and I believed I had reached a point of peace. I believed that all of my prayers, crying, pleading, and promises to be better a person and to do better for myself had paid off. Wrong.

What happened next and what continues to happen is a great tug-of-war in my mind. There is a fight in my brain that is constantly trying to figure out where I am headed next now that I have this newfound sense of enlightenment. I find myself stuck between keeping a devout spiritual path and fearing that I may revert back to my old ways if I don’t. I don’t really trust myself to fly on my own, to let myself make my own decisions. There’s a lot of self doubt and guilt when I realized that my life had hit a wall and I was a big part of it. Because I always had a choice — always. And I chose to ignore my inner voice.

Trying to Make Sense of it All.

And here I am, the survivor of an awful situation, someone who has allowed herself to feel the pain of years past and who is looking forward to the future and desperately trying to remind herself to live in the present.

I have to remember to trust that I know better because I have lived through it and have dealt with the root of the issue. And to take each day at a time. I have to choose happiness each day and to remember what I’ve learned so I don’t have to repeat the same lesson. Healing is not black and white and if you find yourself in the midst of a healing or spiritual journey don’t be so hard on yourself. If no one gets your journey it is ok. It’s not theirs — it’s yours. You’ll come into your own at your own time.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ― Dalai Lama

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Slice of Wisdom

Our parents, our children, our spouses, and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves, yet. They will point us to our freedom every time.

-Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life