Poetry: Free

I wrote this in 2006 when I was frustrated and fantasized about leaving my husband.

deserving better

What if I don’t think?
About our precious link
And decide to go
Without letting you know
And let you wake up
Free of our never ending rut

What if I don’t feel your love
And am no longer good enough
And continue to fight for us
And leaving you becomes a must

What if I choose to be free
and leave you abruptly
and live my life without you
because I finally learned my value

A Year Since My BPD Diagnosis: The Beginning was Tough

Video taken 6/15/2021 before my BPD Diagnosis-I was burnt out and miserable AF

6/30/2022

It’s been a year since I received my life changing diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and so much in my life has changed because of it. I started therapy sometime around late June and I had to do a 3-hour mental health assessment in two separate sessions where my therapists asked me questions about past trauma and past patterns of behavior. It was a really, rough week emotionally for me because of that and other personal stuff going on in my life. I sat down across from my therapist as she explained how Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis ended up on my concept map.

My first concept map-made on 6/30/2021, altered by me in Mid July

My reaction was one of numbness and shock. And then I made the mistake of going to the internet and looking it up and well BPD gets a bad rap for good reason. After reading all the bad things about BPD, I thought “I knew I had issues and was kind of messed up, but I didn’t expect to be this fucked up, this broken”. It doesn’t help that a couple of things that stand out on the internet about BPD are “BPD is the most painful mental disorder “Or “BPD people are manipulative” or “Some people with BPD are incapable of love”. It didn’t help that at the time I was diagnosed, I was also having a mental breakdown and my relationship at the time was on the rocks. When I told my friends and family about my diagnosis, most of them were supportive and encouraging but some were in denial and didn’t fully accept it. I was told “I couldn’t have BPD because I’m not so awful” or that “it’s not a big deal”.
A couple of weeks after my diagnosis, I was broken up with. While I don’t want to go into the details about the events that led up to the demise of that relationship; I will say that the last day I saw my ex, there were a couple of things he said to me that really impacted me and made me really look at my life. I won’t say what they were, but it was useful for the next part of my journey. The breakup validated my worst fears about myself, “I’m unlovable”, I’m hard to love”, “I’m always going to be too emotionally unstable to be in a relationship” “I don’t deserve love” “I always fuck up everything good in my life” “I’m too fucked up and broken to be loved” etc., etc. Y’all have read the poetry and stories about how I don’t handle breakups well-ever. So, I’m lying-in bed crying and thinking all these things and don’t want to get up. I was on vacation when this happened so I could’ve stayed in bed all day and it would have been fine. However, something told me to keep going and getting up. The rest of the month of July is a blur to me at this point. I did document through video and journaling what I did so I know what I did, however there are parts of that month I don’t remember living.

Video taken 7/16/21, 7/19/21, 7/24/21-the start of this journey was difficult and rough-I was in and out of suicidal ideation mode for 2 weeks straight

I know I kept up with my therapy appointments and worked every day and wrote. Something I had to do for therapy was keep a daily diary card monitoring my emotions and any situations that brought out strong emotions in me. The main emotions I felt the months of July, August, and September were anger, sadness, and despair so filling out my diary card was a task but also necessary for me to get better at coping with life.

my first diary card-first two weeks of July

Something my current therapist said in group therapy was how grief makes one take a stock of life and how you’re living it. After the breakup, while yes, I felt this immense grief over that situation, I also felt grief and anger over other traumatic events in my life I hadn’t healed from. It was like I had this closet full of unprocessed trauma that was about to burst open at any time and in July, the door busted wide open and out came well, almost everything I kept inside of me well hidden. Shame, guilt, anger, fury, despair, sadness over past trauma were feelings I became well acquainted with for those first three months. I felt stuck at times in this emotional fog but somehow kept going. I continually asked myself what the purpose of all my hard work was and at first it was so that I don’t ever “split” on my kids like I had on other people in my past. I also had to learn a new language with my BPD diagnosis. I know that sounds weird but with all the new vocabulary words thrown at me, it’s what it felt like. In June and July, I learned real quick what dissociation, masking, and splitting was because that’s basically what I did those months. I also learned the term hypersexuality which I’ve addressed in some of my posts and poetry in this blog. Reflecting on everything that I’ve learned I can understand how my behavior can seem scary and unsafe to some people. I’ve finally had a deep understanding of how much of my erratic and impulsive behavior has greatly impacted my life.

To be continued to part two

Resources:

BPD Terminology:

https://shitborderlinesdo.freeforums.net/thread/37/important-bpd-terminology

Here is an episode from my favorite podcast “Back From the Borderline” about breakups that resonated with me: https://open.spotify.com/episode/19fVPtpfy8bsO2qEKQueWv?si=8NWz6oVVQ52coU1g-Bcwyg&utm_source=copy-link

A New Diagnosis: BPD

Me at 16

It was April of 1996 and I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 months after he had grown distant from me. I was in a world of despair and teenage angst and longed to no longer exist. I was feeling this rush of intense sadness as I was walking home from school. I looked at the cars on the street and thought about how easy it would be to end my sadness if I got run over by one. As I was alone in my thoughts, I stopped paying attention as I crossed the street and wasn’t aware that a car was coming. It stopped within inches of hitting me and the driver honked at me and yelled at me. I continued to walk in shock of what had just happened. I didn’t know then but I would be walking into many more BPD episodes like this one.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021 and I’m 40, the mother of 3 kids, work 2 jobs, and have a complicated love life. I decide to go back to therapy due to some recent trauma and driving anxiety. I do a 3 hour assessment and when the feedback comes back, it’s there on my concept map: I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I expected the driving phobia but the new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder was definitely unexpected.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

According to Mayo Clinic, “Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights

Causes for Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental health disorders among family members.
  • Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Risk Factors include:

  • Hereditary predisposition. You may be at a higher risk if a close relative — your mother, father, brother or sister — has the same or a similar disorder.
  • Stressful childhood. Many people with the disorder report being sexually or physically abused or neglected during childhood. Some people have lost or were separated from a parent or close caregiver when they were young or had parents or caregivers with substance misuse or other mental health issues. Others have been exposed to hostile conflict and unstable family relationships.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Learning about this disorder has been overwhelming and also life changing. Some of my friends didn’t think it was possible for me to have BPD because I’m too nice. I was also kind of in denial at first until I did the research and thought damn, my life finally makes sense to me. I’ve been coping with intense emotions since I could remember and have a pattern of risky and impulsive behavior and sometimes self sabotaging my own success and romantic relationships. One minute my mood can shift from happy and joyful to full on anger and sadness if I am triggered by feelings of rejection, abandonment, being criticized or judged. I also have a tendency to villainize people if I feel threatened by them. Also, when I feel like my life is “too normal” or “too boring”, I seek out an adrenaline rush and create chaos.

Throughout the years, I’ve leaned some healthy coping mechanisms like journaling, writing poetry or blogging, exercising, mediocre dancing and singing. I’ve also had some unhealthy mechanism like drinking, binge shopping, binge eating, having sex for only validation purposes. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better with time because I’ve become more self aware of myself and my need to survive not only for my myself but also for my kids.

I’m hopeful that with this new diagnosis of BPD and therapy, I’ve have way better coping mechanisms to become a better version of myself. I’m hopeful that going on this new journey, I’ll not only be surviving but I’ll be thriving. I also hope that I heal the girl in the picture above who was a teenager trying to find love for within the arms of a any dude because she didn’t know how to love herself.

Poetry: License

I wrote this poem in 2002 about my oldest son’s bio dad. I had a lot of angry emotions about how he abandoned him.

Me with my oldest son circa 1999
me with my oldest son circa 1999

A license to create is what shouldn’t

Be given to those who don’t know how to 

Appreciate their child’s laughter 

Or comfort their high pitch cries

A license to create is what shouldn’t 

Be given to those who don’t understand 

What it takes to be an example to 

Those that descend from them 

A license to create is what shouldn’t 

Be given to those who leave children 

In the dust to follow their own desires 

Without looking back on their offspring’s 

 sad little face that whimpers,

“Daddy, come back”

Poem: The Cold Shoulder

I wrote this about my husband in 2006 when I thought he was being distant.

You didn’t think that I wouldn’t notice

That you have stopped caring for me 

That when I reach to touch you

There is no response

How could something that started so beautiful 

And intense end up so bland and empty

We’re together

But worlds apart

You no longer share

Your worries, your dreams

Everything that we once were

Has been shredded to pieces

But both of us deny it

You won’t tell me what’s wrong 

Our silences are starting to be dreadfully long 

Why can’t you just tell me 

The whats, whys, and whens

Of falling out of love with me

And get our breakup over with. 

Poetry: I Think

I wrote this poem in 2004 when I was depressed because I felt my husband pulling away from me.

I think sometimes

It is better to die

Than to live this big lie

We like to call life

I think sometimes

It is better to escape 

Then face

Such an unfair fate

I think sometimes

It is better to have the earth eat you up

Than to have to hurt so much 

Over treacherous love

Poetry: Refusal

I wrote this poem in 2004 when I was pregnant with my second child and mad at my boyfriend (future husband) for his lack of affection and attention to me. I was obviously very upset when I wrote this poem and instead of talking to him I wrote and bottled up my anger.

You refuse to see

All the hurt you’re causing me

With your indifferent ways

It’s a miracle you haven’t yet gone astray

You refuse to see

Our son is paying the fee

He may still be in my belly

But the tears you cause me

Also affect him

You refuse to see

That one day soon you’ll lose me 

If you don’t stop 

Being so fucking cold. 

Poetry: Uncaring

I wrote this poem in 2004 about my husband, then boyfriend. I guess I was mad about his lack of affection. As you can see, this is a pattern for me. I bottle my emotions up until one day I explode.

If you don’t want any of this 

You should just leave 

I can’t take anymore 

Of your uncaring words

I don’t want to keep you from 

Having your fun

So just go away 

You only hurt me if you stay

Go back to the way you used to be

Alone, happy, and free

And take your precious independence

You prefer  it to our relationship nonsense

So stop acting like you care

To us, it wouldn’t be fair

Adieu, adios, and goodbye

To our enormous love lie

Poetry: Frigid

I wrote this in 2004 about my husband who I thought was being distant at the time. As you can guess, I don’t deal with rejection well at all and this is one example of many of how my mind deals with it.

Your frigid ways turn me into nothing

I don’t ask for much 

but to you I ask for the world

I try so hard to make something 

Out of the nothing 

That has become us…

But all of it is meaningless to you

Poetry: False Fairy Tale

So I wrote this poem in January of 2004 when I was dating my husband and maybe I was foreshadowing my future with him (sort of-haha). I think that maybe I was paranoid he had someone else at the time because he was such a private person. Reflecting on this now is kind of strange because I was the one that ended up with the indiscretions. I was 22 when I wrote this and I have I think that this is a good example of “splitting” meaning that I went to black and white thinking about him.

FALSE FAIRY TALE

Everyone believes that you and I 

 are the real deal

That we are perfect

  and don’t have issues

Little do they know

  that you treat me with no worth

That to you

  I am not your only girl

That I close my eyes and ears

  and  deny to myself the fact

That your indiscretions are real

  that  you just used me as a tool

To have everyone fooled

  That you have the perfect wife

And you are the perfect husband 

  but  I am too tired of this

False fairy tale

  I have to get out of this lie

Before I lose what’s important

  for  the sake of your arrogance

So tonight I leave our once “happy” home

  so  I won’t lose 

All that’s left of me

Poetry: Pathetic Games

I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. Maybe he tried to come back to be an FWB and I got mad and that’s what inspired this poem.

Never

Why do you continue to be
such an asshole to me?
With your pathetic games
you make yourself look lame
You expect me to sit around and wait for you
whenever it’s fucking convenient for you
but I guess this is my fault
for letting us almost fuck
So now I have to tell you something
I will no longer be your fucking fling
So start to forget
that we ever met
Go on your merry away
and stay away
for i am lot more
than an on call whore

Poetry: No Clue

I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. I’m telling y’all when I get obsessed with someone I’m like the mild version of Joe Goldberg.

You had no clue
How I felt about you
Because you were too hard headed
to put us through the relationship test
because you wanted to be free
Instead of wasting your time on me
It’s really sad
But I’ll have the last laugh
Because one day you’ll realized
I could’ve been your ultimate prize
But now it’s too late
for you have offended your fate

Poetry: Like Every Other Fool

I wrote this 20 years ago on November 1st right before the great breakup of 2001. I wish I could say that I get over breakups quicker now but that would be a lie. After fights or breakups with partners, I seem to always go back to the girl I was in my teens and 20s. My brain is wired that way and I’ve accepted it. It’s something called age regression that shows up in people with Borderline Personality Disorder. Fear of abandonment is so severe that some of us will feel like we are literally dying after a breakup. Some of us will stop eating, some of us will sleep for days, some of will self harm or have suicidal ideation. With each breakup, I’ve noticed I’ve acquired healthier coping mechanisms. Nowadays, I’ve learned to listen more to what I need in order to heal than what doing what I used to do to escape the pain of heartbreak. My method now is cut off all contact with the ex, exercise, write a LOT and do loads of self care. I’m careful not to fall into any quick escapes from my feelings like going on tinder and trying to find someone new. Do I think I will ever get better at accepting a breakup like a normal person? I don’t know but I hope so. While I’m thankful for all of the inspiration and growth that comes from every breakup ;it’s also very overwhelming, exhausting and draining at times.

❤❤❤

You showed up unexpectedly in my life
Like a pleasant surprise
Calling and seeing me every day
Making me dinner
and leaving me roses on my dashboard
I thought “finally, the one has come”
Suddenly all of those nice things
started becoming scarce
The dinners, the roses, seeing me
became non-existent
Even talking to you on the phone
has become too much of a bother of you
I’m no fool, I know exactly
where this doomed thing is headed
Pretty soon you’ll give me some lame excuse
As to why “we” can no longer be
And my heart will shatter
into pieces yet again
There will be nothing left to say
I’ll just realize once again
You’re just like every other fool