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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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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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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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You Issue the Invitation

“You are the priority in your life and how you love you, how you see you, how you treat you is going to set the stage and issue the invitation that will draw other people in to love you.”

-Iyanla Vanzant

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When No One Gets You

Ever have those moments when you’re thinking out loud to a friend or family member and they start shaking their head? Like, hello?! I was not finished explaining my thought process. You get kind of sensitive. You think, “how can what I’m saying be wrong already?”

I used to be so afraid to express what I was feeling to anyone. I didn’t want to be told that what I had spent grueling hours thinking and overanalyzing was wrong! I mean I had invested time and energy into these full reports that I was finally verbalizing. But the lightbulb when off the other day as I was talking to a friend.

I was telling her that in the future I could see myself marrying a man and not a woman. She told me not be so quick to choose (seeing as how I’ve dated both). But I’ve already overanalyzed it and no matter how hard I try the thought of marrying a woman does not feel comfortable nor is something that I have ever really seen as a future for myself. I may have said it in the past but I’ve evolved. And said it from the old me, the one who thought love was something completely different — I thought it was just infatuation and physical and then the emotional would follow. I’ve learned, in the past several months, that it should be flip-flopped. The one who so desperately wanted to connect with my female because my own relationship with my mother was so severed. Yeah, that was a tough one to learn. <Add in childhood memories trauma and yeah, it’s super complicated.>

And then I started thinking that regardless of her opinion, I know my thoughts better than anyone else and don’t need anyones blessing to be me and act upon what I think feels right. No one will ever understand my inner workings and I will never understand anyone else’s.

This particular friend had gone through a very difficult health issue in the last few years. A very life-or-death scenario which I know was very eye-opening and life-changing for her. Now, however many stories she shares with me or feelings that she expresses — I will never know what that experience felt like and so it’s only my job to love and be there for her. It isn’t my job to judge her or tell her she’s on the wrong path. As author Caroline Myss has stated, “you’re never on the wrong path, you’re just not managing it well.”

With that being said, I wanted to share two things I reflected on today. Let me know if there’s anything interesting that you thought of today. Would love to hear!!! Doesn’t matter what it is.

  1. Your truth is just that — YOUR truth. Don’t be discouraged from your growth process just because someone doesn’t get it. It’s for you to get, not anyone else. As long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else — you’re golden!
  2. Everyone can do anything. However, they can only do it to the best of their ability.

When That One Person Won’t Leave You Alone

Everyone’s had that moment — when you’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and then suddenly someone or something takes you back to that dark place where you began. The drop you feel your stomach makes as your mind thinks, ‘not again’! Now, this moment doesn’t totally discredit all of the progress that you’ve made but it does bring to the surface some mixed emotions and discomfort.

It can make you feel angry, having to be reminded the mess you had to wade through. It can also bring a sense of shame. You think, “shouldn’t I be over this already?” Is this all starting to sound familiar?

I had that experience today and I’ve been working on a method that will help me get through those moments. This experience in particular was a person from my past trying to contact me. For months I have had my mind made up that I will never speak to this person again.

However brash my decision may seem, please know that this decision is based on several months of reflection. The old me would have felt ‘bad or even sad’ and would have tried to appease them. Ugh! That’s the pit in the stomach – the sickening part. Where the old you is battling the new you. Nauseated by the fact that the you could have ever thought any differently than the learned you.

So, how do I continue to move on? I remember these key facts (I suspect they may help you if you find yourself in the same predicament). If you have any other tactics you’ve used, feel free to comment.

  1. chose to leave for a very good reason
  2. There is nothing I need from this individual
  3. If they really need help they can call their family, friends and/or 9-1-1
  4. My new self doesn’t fit back into the space I left
  5. I am not a martyr and refuse to do things that benefit others at the expense of myself
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Who is the Girl in that Selfie?

I’ve convinced myself of the reason why I like to take selfies. I’m trying to see if I still recognize her, especially after the life-altering year I’ve had.

For years I’ve lived my life on autopilot, trying to fill every minute of every day with work, friends, relationships, concerts, restaurants, clubs, dancing, and I drowned out the voice inside. The voice that held the answer to who I was, my dreams, my purpose and my inner peace.

I was in a constant tug-of-war between a boss who projected all of her anger onto me and significant other who did just the same. Had the new people at work not asked why I let my boss mistreat me, it may have taken me a lot longer to realize how bad it actually was.

Now, no one asked me about the girlfriend, because I never told anyone the truth of what was happening. I never told anyone that she yelled at me for the smallest things, that she became jealous of anyone I spoke to, criticized me constantly and manipulated me into thinking she was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

Those who know me have been in total disbelief that I would allow such people in my life for as long as I did. The thing is that the broken me – the girl who never made it past May 31, 2014 – didn’t realize that I had a choice.

I was taught to learn that love would always hurt one way or another. That if you made people angry with you they would hurt you and that love would always mean pain. That you should accept that you’ll always be the punching bag. And that’s exactly what they represented to me — another chance at proving all of those things right.

Having these two individuals in my life during a 9-month period completely wreaked havoc on me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was anxious all of the time, gaining weight, losing interest in seeing friends, not feeling motivated to take care of myself, and preoccupying myself by pleasing the two people in my life who did not deserve it. I was definitely in a state of depression.

Several months ago I had had it at work and I courageously (some would say foolishly) quit my job without having anything else lined up. That alleviated some anxiety and stress but something still wasn’t right. A week after I quit my job, I moved in with my significant other and things started to spiral down quickly soon after. The fights became more intense, the words became more hateful, and I cried almost every night.

If it hadn’t been for the few weeks I spent at the local public library, using the computers to job search I don’t know where’d I’d be. During that time, I checked out a self-help/spiritual healing book by author Iyanla Vanzant, titled Peace from Broken Pieces. In the book she shared so much truth about her life struggles and how everything that happened in her life was a direct reflection of how she felt about herself.  Being a fan of hers from years back and seeing her on the Oprah show, it was mind-blowing to me that this woman endured so much turmoil.

A quote of hers that still gets me choked up is, “You can only get what you really want by letting go of what you don’t want.”

With that, I decided I was leaving the toxic relationship. A few days later a temporary job fell through and I ended up not only leaving a relationship, but also leaving a job, an apartment and my city and moving hundreds of miles away to live with my parents.

Nowadays when I take a selfie it serves as a reminder that I’m not completely lost. That even though there are parts of the girl prior to May 31, 2014 that no longer exist, I’m still here slowly picking up her pieces, healing them and using them to shape the me I thought I’d lost. 934771_10100505330996512_4189002201993813681_n

Never Really Made a Good Lemonade

When life handed me my current batch of lemons, I felt lost. Completely disoriented. What direction was my life heading in? What do I do now that I’m completely moving my life to a different city (and not on the best of terms)? And literally speaking, I’ve never been too good at making lemonade but now life was squeezing me through and I had to find a way before bitterness would set in.

Shock would be the best way to describe everything that has happened since the end of May. I had a friend tell me recently that there are Top 5 Stressful Situations and that I had gathered 3 out of 5 in one fell swoop. Yippee!

  1. Death of a Loved One
  2. Divorce (Relationship Ending)
  3. Major Illness
  4. Job Loss
  5. Moving

So how have I decided to begin to move on?

  • Journaling
  • Reading Self-Help and Spirituality Books
  • Sitting in Silence
  • Taking Long Baths
  • Practicing Gratitude & Forgiveness
  • Going to the Gym
  • Eating Healthier
  • Lots of Prayer
  • Random Outburst of Tears
  • Happiness to Sadness to Anger to Gratitude to Happiness Again
  • Going out with Friends on the Weekend/Making New Friends (Some Friendlier than Others)
  • Spending Time with Family
  • Hugging my Cats
  • Singing Every Sam Smith Song I know (as well as Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato break-up songs)
  • Listening to Of Monsters and Men on repeat (currently happening)
  • Taking Time to Do Whatever I Want and Enjoying Alone Time (not as easy as it sounds when you’ve devoted nearly eight years of your life to relationships)

If I had to pick a favorite one out of that list that has helped me the most it would be sitting in silence. I never realized how the mind really needs to be quieted in order to find the answers you’re constantly searching.

I was so used to running around in the morning and getting ready for work, jamming out on the drive to work, working over 50-60 hours a week, coming home and making dinner, spending time with my then ‘S.O.’ and then going to bed. My mind was computing but it wasn’t really thinking.

Now that I practice meditating on my thoughts, I have begun to understand how my past and all the choices I have made have led me to where I am. I can reflect on every single emotion I feel that I dislike and really get down to the root — it’s truly life-changing.

One example I will use is that I would get so upset at what people thought of me — people that I didn’t even know! I would obsess about it at times! So I dug deeper as I sat in silence to find out why.

This is what I learned:

The anger stemmed from me being insecure and not really knowing who I was. I mean, how dare that person say something about me and not know me? I couldn’t let it go! And it was all because I hated that that person could possibly know more about and see me more clearly than I actually saw myself.

The insecurities stemmed from so many childhood to adolescent factors, which I may share another day (but for now I’ll condense).

So now that I knew the why, I needed to accept responsibility for my thoughts rather than blaming others for their cruel words and move into healing the thought. What helped me heal was knowing and affirming the following:

  • Forgiving myself for allowing the thoughts to take over me
  • Knowing that God loves me just the way I am and that only God can judge me
  • Understanding that those who judge are feeling pain as well
  • And knowing that what other people think of me has nothing to do with me, it’s their business

With all that being said, I think it’s time for a close. I hope this was insightful and you were able to take something away from this — that’s my wish!

P.S. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.