Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why am I so sad?

Last Thursday, so a week ago today, I got engaged. I am thrilled about that. My boyfriend and I were traveling at the time and he completely surprised me by the proposal. Not that I wasn't expecting us to get engaged, we had been talking about our future since shortly after we started dating, but I wasn't expecting it to happen on that trip. Anyways, he totally blew me was perfect, and the days that followed were perfect as well.

Last night, however, I started to feel a deep sadness begin to resurface again, and it doesn't seem to want to go away. It doesn't have anything to do with our future, I am certain of that. What I think it has to do with, rather, is the rest of my life. I don't feel like I have much going for me outside of our relationship, and that makes me incredibly unhappy. Its like when we're together, everything is fine. But when my boyfriend has boys' plans that don't include me, or even talks about such plans that are coming up, I fall completely and utterly apart. I want him to be happy and to see his friends, but can't even manage to hold it together or fake it long enough to let him go without first smothering him with overwhelming guilt. The thing is, right now, he is my life. I'm not proud of that fact and don't like it one bit, but that's the way it is. I am trying little by little to gain at least a smidgen of independence, but am having a really, really hard time. I hate being alone. I have people to call if I want, and I'm pretty sure I could find something else to do to occupy my time when he's not around, but I'm just not interested in seeing anyone other than him, most of the time. The end result is that he usually follows through with his plans anyways, haunted by the guilt I've left him with, while I stay alone feeling completely abandoned. I don't want to be like this, but haven't yet figured out how to change.

Friday, August 26, 2011

No expectations, no disappointments

I'm completely stressed out. Next week, I'm supposed to be spending the entire week up at a cottage with my bf and his entire family. They do this every year, although last year was the first year I joined them (I had just recently come into the picture). Anyways, I remember it being pretty fun. Lots of time to relax, spend time outdoors, read, swim, and just be in good company. This may sound a bit strange, but although my bf and I had only been dating for about 6 months, I felt like a part of the family.

That was then.

Last fall, when my depression and BPD reared their ugly heads, my bf and I made the decision to tell his family what we were going through. Although I wasn't comfortable with the idea, we were dealing with a lot back then and needed more support than what we could get from just each other and the few close friends we had confided in. So, we told them everything...about my severe depression, my nightmarish experiences with various anti-depressants, my going on sick leave from work, my BPD...and although they didn't fully understand what all of that meant (most of them had never been exposed to any mental illness before), they seemed rather understanding. It was nice. I felt like we had their support and that we could count on them to not turn their backs on us (as other people had done).

Next came our discovery about the birth control pill and the role it had played in all this. We told them all about that as well. The thing is, though, my relationships with a few key people in his family somehow haven't been the same since. Its like they are keeping me at arms length, and aren't quite sure of what to think of me. (I'm the crazy girlfriend who could snap at any moment.) I'll admit that I am very insecure to begin with, and I know I have the tendency to over think things. But something just feels different. Like I used to be treated like part of the family, and now I'm just treated like my bf's girlfriend. It's difficult to explain...but it hurts like hell. Last year (pre-depression) I could see such a wonderful and positive future ahead of us. Our relationship was solid, his family was encouraging, and things were just great all around. Now after everything we've been through, its like everything is completely messed up and will never be as good as it could have been had I not been the way I am. Whenever I think about it, its like a knife twisting in my heart. I haven't yet figured out how to be ok with that.

So that's how I'm feeling about my relationship with my bf's family. And now I get to spend a whole week with them. Although I'm trying not to think about it too much, I am preparing for it to be very different than last year. I am not the social butterfly that I was back then, and don't really care to put myself out there to people who I don't feel are receptive to me. So, I'm bringing lots and lots of knitting supplies and books. The weather is slowly starting to cool off and I need to start knitting my doggy sweater inventory for the fall anyways. On the upside, it should be a productive week as far as my business is concerned :) And as long as I remember not to have any other expectations, I can't get hurt.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My emotions are out of control today. I had a complete meltdown this morning, and I don't even know why. I don't think I slept very well, and I woke up with my mind in a fog -- I couldn't think, or see straight, or control my behaviour. I just didn't feel like myself. And then, everything erupted. My bf is angry, unhappy, and stressed to no end. And its because of me. I literally want to crawl out of my skin, and will claw my way out if I have to.

My relationship is suffering greatly because of my apparent inability to regulate my emotions, and I'm so scared of what will end up happening to us because of all this. I know that by worrying (aka panicking) about what may or may not eventually happen, I'm only making things worse, but I don't know how to stop. I'm stuck.

I'm in the process of learning about distress tolerance in the DBT group I'm in, but nothing was able to help me this morning. And now, I am overcome by embarrassment, guilt, and shame for putting my bf through another episode. I don't know what to do next. I feel as though nothing I try is helping. And its scaring me to death.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Mom, I will never be Shirley Temple"

What's in a name, anyways? Is your name your identity? Does it act as a way to tell people around you who you really are? Or is it, just simply, a group of letters strung together that act as a random identifier?

I've never felt like a "Shirley", nor do I like where my name came from. My narcissistic mother wanted more than anything for me to become her Shirley Temple. In her eyes, I was supposed to bring her fame, money, and probably a whole lot of attention. But that's simply not me. I will never be my mother's own little version of Shirley Temple.

Last week, I sent in my application to legally change my first name. Once the paperwork goes through, I will no longer be "Shirley". Instead, I've chosen a name that actually means something to me, and which I can identify with. As it stands, every time I say or hear my name, I don't just hear "Shirley". Instead, I hear "Shirley-as-in-Shirley-Temple-which-is-what-my-mother-wanted-me-to-be-but-which-I-can't-be-because-I'm-not-good-enough-and-that's-why-my-mother-doesn't-love-me". I'm tired of it.

I've mentioned this to a few friends already, mostly to gauge reactions, and so far they've been positive. I'm still very worried about judgments and about what people will say about me behind my back. (I've never been good at not caring about things like that.) But at the end of the day, I need to do what's best for me, which is to focus on re-building my life the way I want it to look, as opposed to how I think everyone else wants it to look. I know that this will not be an easy task, since I've spent my entire life trying to be whatever I needed to be to make other people happy. But one thing I've learned is that trying to be whatever I think others want me to be never works. So, its time for a different approach.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Relationship struggles

Here we are...another day, another fight with my bf caused by my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem. What a wonderful way to start the day.

We were supposed to have lunch with "our" friends today. (I say "our" because they were his friends before we started dating, but have become our mutual friends by virtue of our relationship.) This lunch was planned a few days ago, when one person decided to send out an email to "the group" to set up a lunch for today. I was not included in that email. In my mind, that translates into them wanting to have lunch without me. I'm sure that I would have been welcome to join and nobody would have said anything about it, but the point is that I wasn't asked directly...and to me, that means that they didn't expressly want me there. That in itself is a good enough reason for me to not want to go.

Of course, my bf doesn't understand my interpretation of the situation. In his view, they are "our" friends, I am always welcome and wanted, and by them asking him if he wanted to have lunch, it was implied that I was being invited as well. I'm not so sure I agree with that, mostly because there are other times when I am included in group emails by those same people. Either way, the result is the same. My bf and I fought. I cried hysterically. He got incredibly stressed. And now there's uneasiness between us. Again.

So, this situation got me thinking about my "friends" in general. As I mentioned in my last post, I feel like the only time I get to see people is when I chase them down and make plans with them. I think that's what got me so upset this morning...the feeling of being left out of today's lunch stirred up my feelings about being left out of almost everything. And in the end its my relationship with my bf that pays the price.

Here's the thing: I'm over-sensitive, I lack self-confidence, and I feel like an outcast most of the time. None of this is new. What is new, however, is that my bf simply doesn't have the patience anymore to deal with me and my distorted thinking. I blame myself fully for this. I truly believe that the relationship struggles we are facing now are a direct result of my inability to pull myself together and just be a "normal, happy person". I can't even fake it for a day, for goodness sake! And believe me, I have tried. (Actually, I think I start almost everyday by thinking "OK, its a new day, time to pretend to be the strong, confident, happy person my bf needs me to be. If I can do that, then everything will be fine.") But each time I fail, I hate myself for it, and end up making everything so much worse.

My bf has been saying a lot of things lately like "I just can't be the rock I used to be" and "I feel like I can't do or say anything anymore". He's been breaking down a lot, and I am the cause. I hate myself for this too. He says he doesn't want me to leave, but I can't stand seeing myself put him through all this pain and misery. It's like watching a horrific car crash happen over and over again. If I can't be the happy stable person he needs me to be, and I can't figure out how to fake it, what am I supposed to do?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nobody cares, so what's the point?

I feel like a total outcast. I don't seem to have a single friend (other than my bf) who actually wants to see me. No one reaches out to me and says "hey, do you want to get together and do something?" If I make plans to see someone, its because I reached out to them...I chased them, and I suggested plans...and as good as things seem when we get together, no one ever gets in touch with me to set up another get together. It doesn't help that my bf's friends get in touch with him all the time to make plans, which seems to validate my belief that its me no one cares about. And if nobody cares, then what's the point in chasing them to make plans at all? I'd might as well just stay in my apartment and live a quiet life, and not bother seeing people that apparently don't care whether they see me or not anyways. The problem is, I hate being alone.

When I wrote about how the birth control pill caused my severe depression and heightened BPD traits (here), I failed to realize at the time that getting my life "back to normal" (working, socializing, managing my emotions) was going to be so much more difficult than simply going off the pill. Think of my mind as a Pandora's Box, and the pill as being what caused the box to open. Now that the box has been opened, even though I have stopped the pill, I (clearly) can't just shove everything back into the box and close it again. Whether I like it or not, the issues I have been repressing all these years (quite successfully I might add) are now out in the open and need to be dealt with the hard way.

I had a very traumatic childhood. Unfortunately (or fortunately??) I don't actually remember any of it. My memories quite literally start somewhere in my mid-teens. What little I do know of my childhood is what I have been able to gather from other family members: my mom (who really is a horrible resource for this, as she is a narcissist, an alcoholic, and the source most of my trauma), my dad (who I don't think was ever really around), and my step mom (who presumably got all her info from my dad). But they did tell me things like how my mom used to hit me whenever I made a mistake playing my instruments, or how every picture of me as a kid was manufactured (no pictures could be taken unless my hair was combed, my shoes were shined, and I was wearing a pretty dress), and how she used to threaten to kill herself whenever I did something she didn't like (she still does this, actually). She also named me Shirley after Shirley Temple, because I was supposed to be her little star (singer, dancer, whatever), which kind of explains why she put me into everything as a child (swimming, skiing, skating, roller skating, dancing, music, etc. etc.) and why every time I stopped an activity, she would tell me that "a part of her died".

I am a very sensitive person, and I have a tendency to take a lot of things very, very personally. I have also lived most of my life doing things that I thought would make my parents (mostly my mom) happy, and as such never really learned how to think for myself -- to think about what I want. It makes sense, then, that if I spent my life doing what I thought would make my mom happy (like spending the last 12 years in a career I hated to try to win her over), and she would still tell me that I kept letting her down, why I feel like I can never be good enough, for her or for anybody else. That belief is so deeply ingrained in me that I haven't figured out how to shake it yet. I wonder whether I ever will.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Article from on BPD

I was so happy to find an article about living with BPD, published by someone with BPD. I wish more people in the public eye would use the platforms they've been given to help raise awareness and reduce stigma.

My life with borderline personality disorder -

I am also doing what I can to create awareness about mood altering side effects of hormone medications, and would be so appreciative if you would join me on that journey as well. Although I will still maintain this blog, I started a new blog (less anonymously) specifically for that purpose at

You'll see that my first post on that new blog closely mirrors my last post here.

My hope is that if I start speaking out about my experience, other people will join me. And if (think positive...not "if", "when") they do, it will give our cause a louder voice. That louder voice will be heard and awareness will be created. I truly believe that there is power in numbers (think women's rights over the last 50 years or so) and that together we can make a real difference.

Please join me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

...the 'PILL' did this?!?!

I realize it's been a while since I've posted anything, but I have some pretty significant news to share. It turns out that my severe depression and heightened BPD behaviours were caused by...get this...a BIRTH CONTROL PILL!!! Here's what happened...

Last summer, I went to see my family doctor (who is a new doctor for me, which I had only been seeing for about a year at that point) to get a refill of my prescription for birth control pills. He advised me that the pill I was on (which I think was Triquilar 21) was outdated (I had been on it on and off for about 15 years) and that there were much better pills out there these days. So, he reached into his cupboard to see what free samples the pharma companies had given him, and gave me some samples of Yaz. During my first month on that pill, I gained 8 pounds, and before that cycle was up, I marched right back to his office demanding a different pill (for obvious reasons). He then reached back into his magic pill sample cupboard and gave me a few packs of Tri Cyclen Lo (TCL). I seemed to be ok on those pills, so I kept taking them...up until last month.

Like many people who suffer from depression, I had been asking myself over and over "why had this happened to me?" What triggered it? Why had I become SO depressed? Why did the life I worked so hard to build suddenly seem to be falling spectacularly to pieces? Yes, I had dealt with depression in the past, and yes, it seems that I have shown borderline traits for much of my life. But the emotional roller coaster I had been riding for the last 8 months or so was something on a whole different level.

My boyfriend is much more observant than I am, and it was actually him that came up with the idea that maybe it was the Pill, because really, that was the only thing that I changed before becoming severely depressed. (For reference, the Pill change happened around June/July 2010, and I began to fall into a deep depression in Sept 2010.) So, we decided to hold a little experiment...take me off TCL, and see what happens.

I've been off the Pill for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and I feel GREAT! My depression is gone, and while my BPD behaviours are still there, I am able to keep them in check. Unbelievable.

What's shocking and enraging is that I've been doing a lot of online research over the past few days, and have found that so many other women have gone through virtually the exact same experiences as I have! Most even reported the same result...that when they went to see their doctors about the sudden onset of severe depression, the doctors responded by prescribing (you guessed it) anti-depressants. What a ridiculous ordeal, not to mention a truly pathetic representation of the medical community.

So now I'm angry. Feeling great otherwise, but boiling over with rage. I feel as though I've been robbed of the last 8 months of my life. It put many of my relationships at risk, including the ones that mean the most to me, and cost me so much financial and emotional pain. (Some of you may recall that I have been unable to work due to the severity of my issues, and have been on disability since Sept 2010.) My doctor is clearly a quack. What's more, I read the insert for TCL, which includes the following warning:
"Be alert for the following symptoms and signs of serious adverse effects. Call your doctor immediately if they occur: severe depression"

Calling my doctor when I became depressed was exactly what I did. Never did he mention that perhaps we should change my Pill. Instead, he experimented with various anti-depressants...and you know the rest of the story.

So, here is my concern: there is a clear lack of awareness among women that the Pill can cause such side effects. It's frustrating. In fact, it makes me want to run through the streets screaming about this to everyone, in hopes of saving other women from having to go through the experiences that I went through. I am therefore embarking on a new speak out about my experience, and to inform women about such lesser-known risks. If I can save even one woman from experiencing the pain that I have gone through, my goal will have been reached.

Please pass along this message to the women you care about. We should all be made very aware.

Much love and strength...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On a positive note...

Things seem to be looking up. I know we all have days when things are good, and other days when things are as bad as ever...and since I don't know what kind of day tomorrow will be, I'm just going to focus on today. Today is a good day.

As some of you may know, I love to knit. I actually use it as a form of therapy, because it forces me to focus my mind on something positive...and I am therefore unable to spend time thinking negative thoughts while knitting. I also love dogs, and have a 4 months old King Charles Spaniel (Daisy). So, it only made sense to combine these two loves while trying to do something to occupy my time.

I recently started a little venture called Dogs and Daisies. In short, I'm designing and knitting custom stylish dog wear. The idea was to create pieces for dogs that are truly different...fashionable yet functional, and above all, unique.  Here are a few pieces I'm proud of...

While Daisy's wardrobe is in rapid expansion mode, I decided to put some items up on can find me at I've also jumped onto the twitter bandwagon (@DogsAndDaisies) so I can share some of my random knit-bits.

I don't know whether putting myself out there like this again is a good idea or not. In hindsight, I'm not ever sure why I'm doing it, given my intense fear of judgment and rejection...anyways, I guess we'll see what happens!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Living in the Land of Regret

My emotions get the best of me, and I hate myself for it. It pretty much feels like watching an accident happen in slow motion, and even though I know that the outcome is going to be horrific, I can't seem to tear my eyes away from it. The worst part, though, is when the accident is over and the damage is done, because that's when the real pain begins. I regret so much. And I can't seem to forgive myself for any of it. I have scars on my arms that will be with me forever, as a reminder of my darkest of days. I am embarrassed, both for my actions and my scars. I know I will get better (in some ways I already am) but when?? There are still so many days where it is taking all my strength to hold on...but I do, and will continue to do so. Because there are other days when I see the future...and it is beautiful. I just need to figure out how to get from this land to there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Putting the mask back on

People always say to just "be yourself" and that everything will be fine. What they don't consider is whether "yourself" if someone that will be accepted by others or not. In my case, it is not.

I'm 31 years old, and I think I've lived a relatively successful life so far, in spite of my issues. And I lived most of those years wearing masks. I have very little (if any) sense of self, and have a tendency to adapt quickly to the people around me...that is, I will try to become like the people I am with, in hopes that they will like me. I bottle things up a lot, in fear of causing conflict. And when conflict does occur, I usually run away (metaphorically speaking) and start over somewhere else...because to me, it always feels like its the end of the world. Sometimes this works for me, and sometimes it doesn't. But overall I manage to get by.

Late last year, I decided to try something try "being myself", to stop bottling things up, and to start trying really letting people into my life, without fear of judgment or rejection. So, I told people for the first time in my life about my then and past bouts with depression. I've since told people about BPD. I've even told people all the wonderful things I've been trying to do to "get better". I created a facebook group of close friends and family, which I hoped would act as a support network. And I started blogging.

First of all, I want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog and comment back...knowing you are out there, listening, and that I am not alone, has made a world of difference. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You make me feel like I can be myself, whether on a good day or bad, and it's ok. I will continue to be my true self with you...

As for the rest of the people in my life...I feel so judged and rejected. I understand how all of this is a lot for people to handle, but somehow I thought that if for once I let people fully into my life, sharing my stories with them and opening up completely, basically standing naked and vulnerable in front of them, that they would support me. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be true :(

I guess I was on the right track before when I would just fake it and pretend to be someone I'm not. Turns out people prefer that make-believe person after all. So I'm putting the mask back on.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I've ruined everything. Again. Just like I do every time things start looking up...

Got into a huge fight with my boyfriend last night, who no longer seems to have any patience for my emotional roller coaster ride. Lately, when I get really upset, he feels like he can't help me and that he only makes things worse, so he gets frustrated and mad at me instead. And then I cry more. I don't blame him one bit for how he feels, though. I get frustrated and mad at me too.

So as usual, I spent the entire night and day so far feeling embarrassed at how I acted, horrible for making him so upset, and hopeless at the thought of ever being able to fix things. I feel like everything is doomed. I want to run away and disappear. And I want to die, although knowing me, that would be just another thing I end up screwing up, and I'd end up in the hospital, still alive, and totally humiliated.

And now I am once again as low as I've ever been. It scares me, the fact that I don't know how to hold things together. It's hard enough for me to handle my own emotions...let alone the thought of burdening others with it...its really, really hard to hard to hang on. But I do. I don't know why. I certainly can't see the end of the tunnel right now...I don't know what to do.

Nothing I ever do is good enough. 3 good days this week mean nothing when they're followed by 2 bad days. Regardless of the fact that I used to have 5 bad days and 2 good days a week, and just looking at the numbers it seems like I'm making progress, its obviously not good enough. It's never good enough. And it hurts so much. I just want to be good enough at something, for once in my life. But I'm not. All I am is a failure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New season, new start

The last few days have been really, really good. I've been doing a lot of thinking (and reading) about the repercussions of having a narcissistic mother, and I have to say that it totally validates how I've felt about myself for as long as I can remember. What a relief! It has also given me a starting point from which I can start to actually deal with those issues...and I'm learning a whole lot about myself in the process. Yesterday, for instance, I was doing an exercise I learned from the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough that had me asking myself a whole bunch of questions to help me with my self-discovery. The questions would be things like how do I feel about education, politics, religion, and what are my favorite colours, activities, etc. As trivial as this may sound, for a daughter of a narcissistic mother who also suffers from BPD, and as such has very little sense of self, stopping to ask these questions and writing them down actually made me realize that I know a lot more about myself than I thought. :)

I've also been doing much better on the depression front over the last few days. It seems that Zoloft may be a good fit for me...although only time will tell for sure. I've been on these meds for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and so far things look promising. For one thing, these are the first meds to not cause me to have insomnia and all those horrible dreams I used to have, all night, every night. So I'm actually sleeping for the first time in a long, long time.

I still don't have a therapist, as no one I've found will help me and my BPD diagnosis. But I also have great news to report looks like I may have gotten into another 20-week DBT skills training program that is being offered in my community! If so, that program should start in about a month. I'm really excited! I so badly want to get stop self-harming, and to finally move on with my life...but feel like I just don't have the tools or the skills to do it on my own. Even with all the books I've been reading, I just can't seem to get much to stick. Maybe with some training and support, I'll have better luck.

Just to keep things in perspective, though, I've been dealing with these issues for long enough to know that a few good days don't necessarily mean everything will be fine from here on out...although one can't help but feel both relief and excitement on those days when the sun decides to peak out from behind the clouds. Still, I've been trying my best to take advantage of the good days. I've recently started looking for opportunities to volunteer, even on just 1 or 2 days a week, for a few hours a day. As much as I'm not ready to re-join the work force yet, I figure getting out for just a few hours a week should be manageable, especially if it's to do something I like. For me, that would be working with horses. When I was a teenager, I was a trail guide at a ranch, and looking back, that was hands down the best job I ever had. I'm seeing if this would maybe be something I could get back into, at least for now.

I'm also working on a bit of a home project. Those of you who read my old blog will know that I am a knitter. I absolutely love to knit, but more than that, I like to create my own patterns. I used to follow store-bought patterns, but found that they all seemed somehow frumpy. So, a few years ago, I started creating my own. I also recently got a puppy...a little 3-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Daisy...who I also love dearly. It would therefore only make sense that I combine these 2 loves, and start making unique handmade knit dog sweaters! Here's Daisy's first...

As tough as the fall and winter seasons were, so far spring looks promising. The tough part is to keep the momentum going, but I can only take things one day at a time. So that's exactly what I'm going to do...think only about today...I will deal with tomorrow when it comes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How much progress have I really made?

The last few days have been really, really tough. See, last week (Thursday, I think) I learned 2 pretty significant things about myself: that I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and that she physically and emotionally abused me as a child (the emotional abuse actually hasn't stopped). It's a strange experience, to learn new things about myself, especially when those things explain so much about why I am the way I am (and mostly the things I hate). It's enlightening, validating, but also saddening and hurtful, all rolled into one. And it sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride that doesn't want to stop.

For as long as I can remember, anytime I do anything that is less than perfect, I feel like a total and utter its the end of the world. Yesterday, for example, I thought I had annoyed my boyfriend because he wasn't responding to some silly actions of mine, when in reality all he was doing was falling asleep. I started to cry. Not like 1 or 2 tears running down my cheek, but all out hysterical bawling. When he tried to ask me what was wrong, I pulled away from him and refused to speak. It was like the sadness had paralyzed my thoughts and my speech, and I was so convinced that he had absolutely enough of me, that my life might as well have ended right then. So I went to the bathroom, grabbed my safety pin, and created another scratch on my forearm. This is the third on my arm...there are also 2 on my leg... The rest of the night didn't get much better, either, and came complete with plenty of crying and banging my head, both on our wooden headboard and on the tile floor.

It was really upsetting that I lost control like that. Even worse is that I now feel so much guilt and embarrassment that I'm finding it impossibly hard to move on. The wound on my arm and the bumps on my head don't make it any easier to forget last night either. I'm also convinced that my boyfriend is absolutely fed up with me...he just doesn't seem to have much patience for me anymore. I don't blame him. He's without a doubt the most patient and understanding person I know, but everyone has their limits...

Growing up, I always thought I was just a socially awkward, insecure perfectionist, with absolutely no sense of identity. Now I'm learning that there may be a reason for all that. As far as I have been told, starting when I was as young as 4 or 5, my mom used to stand behind me when I practiced my instruments, and beat me with a wooden spoon whenever I made a mistake. No wonder I'm afraid of trying anything new in front of people, and of doing anything less that 100% perfect! It kind of makes me wonder if a lot of the issues I have, including possibly my BPD, is a result of the childhood I had. I'll have to do some more digging into my past...I'm really curious as to what else might come up. Funny thing is I can literally count my childhood memories on one hand. I can barely recall anything that happened before my early teens. I thought perhaps there was trauma in my childhood, and that was why I had blocked it out, but my mom (the alcoholic queen of denial) will only tell me that my childhood was nothing short of perfect. So I've decided to have lunch with my dad this week...we don't speak all that often, but maybe he can give me some more insight into what really went on at our home, at least up until he left my mom when I was 7.

So, those of you who read my old blog shouldn't be surprised to learn that I bought a book on narcissistic mothers, both to validate my experiences and to learn more about what I'm dealing with. It's called "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing The Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers" by Karyl McBride, PhD. It's refreshing to read a book that could very well have been written about my mother and I, because it means that I'm not the only one struggling to deal with these issues. But if learning about my mom and my childhood has sent me back into a dark pit for the last few days, I can't help but I really any better than I was a few months ago, or did I just have a few random better days? Have I made any progress at all?

Friday, March 18, 2011

A 50/50 shot at getting help

I wrote on my old blog (here) about a study I was trying to get into that provided Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for people with BPD. Two days ago, I had my second interview...which lasted no less than 5 hours. Ouch. I was emotionally wiped by the end of that meeting, but am happy to report that I qualified, meaning I might finally be able to get some treatment!

Here's the catch: the study follows 2 groups of people, and you have absolutely no say as to which group you get put into. One of the groups will immediately start participating in a 20-week DBT skills training program (fingers and toes crossed I get into this one). The other group gets nothing, other than the added joy of completing random questionnaires during the course of the study...and guaranteed entry into the 20-week DBT skills training program IN 8 MONTHS, at which point the study is over but they give you the treatment anyways for being such a good sport. Given that my life seems to have fallen spectacularly to pieces over the past 6 months, just the thought of waiting another 8 months is a tough pill to swallow. I suppose this is one of those situations that falls into the "I can't do anything about it so why worry" category, so really I shouldn't worry. Easier said than done. Here's the thing: I want so badly to get better, to have a "normal" life, and to stop feeling like a burden to everyone, but I also feel like I don't know how to do that and for some reason no one will help me. Anyways...there's nothing I can do until I know what group I get put into...which should be in the next few weeks.

I'm reminded of a quote from the Dalai Lama, which goes something like "If there is a solution to the problem, then there is no need to worry. And if there is no solution, then there is also no need to worry." That easy, huh? I would love to be one of those enlightened people who seem to have so much peace and joy in their lives. Of course I have no idea how to get there, even though I have bought all these books on Buddhism and awakening your inner Buddha...come to think of it, I really should read them again...

Meanwhile, I'm also working on a project this counselor gave me to do, to help me weed out the negative people in my life (including those people that I allowed to chase me away from my old blog). I think its actually a great exercise, and maybe it could help others's how it goes:

Draw a circle, and divide it into 3 parts. You are in the center. One third represents family, the second friends, and the third systems (such as counselors, colleagues, and anyone not falling into sections one and two). Then within each group, list EVERY person you know, and then decide whether that person is a positive or negative force in your life. I'm sure you can guess what happens next...keep talking to the positive people, which are people you can truly be authentic with, and segregate the negative so that you have minimal dealings with them, and any dealings you have to have can be prepared for in advance. I've only just started working on this, but hope that it will help me stay focused on keeping in touch with the right people...and avoiding the others, when possible.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here's to a New Start...

This is my second attempt at blogging about my life with depression and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Last time around, I made the critical mistake of letting some people into my world who never should have been allowed to be there...and I got burned. So this time, I'm going to be much, much more careful. This time, I'm not reaching out to any friends and family who I (wrongfully) thought would be supportive and understanding (let's just say I'm not going to make that mistake again). Instead, I'm going to try to connect with people who really DO understand what I am dealing with, because they or someone they know is living it. Because the truth of the matter is that I so badly need to connect with those people, in order to not feel so alone.

So here's to new beginnings...let's hope for better luck this time around.