Poetry: Unhappiness

I wrote this poem in fall of 2005 when I was feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities of being a mother, a girlfriend, a student and a worker. As usual at that time, I took on too much and was trying to be everything to everyone. One trait of BPD that I’ve carried throughout the years is over extending myself sometimes to my detriment in order to make other people happy.

Me with my middle child circa late 2005

Feelings I can’t turn off

Quickly come in droves

Don’t know what to do 

My options are few

Do I follow my gut?

And get away from this rut

Or do i stay here ?

And become what I fear;

A woman that settles

And lets others meddle 

A woman with no mind

And with everything, she is fine

But can I turn off the real me?

And stay so unhappy

Poetry: My Pride and Joy

I wrote this poem in 2004 about my oldest son. Even though, I was 17 when I had him, I always tried to be the best mother for him. I worked to support him since I was 18, he was one of my biggest motivations for going to college, and even though I was extremely insecure as a young mom, I learned to advocate and fight for him to get the services and therapies he needed when he was diagnosed with autism.

me and my oldest in 2003

You’re a wonderful mistake

I never want to unmake

I was young and stupid

a kid having another kid

but with you I finally grew up

and learned the meaning of love

You are everything a mother could want

Such an admirable and fine son

you are my pride and joy

you will always be my little boy

And I will dread the day

When you have to go away

But I take relief in knowing

You’ll know how to spread your wings

And you will always remember

who you once were

A wonderful mistake

Your mom never wanted to unmake

Perhaps a creation of lust

but one who never lacked love

Poetry: My Pathetic Little Beast

Me in 2006 when I wrote this poem

I wrote this poem in 2006 about my tumultuous relationship with writing. I love to write and it’s saved me more times than I can count. However, I tend to beat myself up if I’m not writing enough.

Instead of tears from eyes that long to spill,
I will spill words onto these pages.
Words that make sense,
Words that don’t make sense,
Many are in fact nonsense
I will let my emotions, the wind
And my surroundings guide me until
I fill up these pages
Full of nonsense, prose,
Poetry, ideas, and everything I can think of
This will be a new phase
this new phase will be full
of promise and potential
And it will also be full
of what I hope is the inspiration
that leads me to share my relationship
to the world.
this will be my fourth baby
Another one I will nurse and raise until it is
As beautiful and complete as my
real life ones.
This is the promise I make to
my pathetic little beast.

Poetry: The Difference

I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

me and my oldest in 1999 when I was 18

Late nights at the club

Drunk and dancing-you

Singing lullabies

Until he fell asleep-I

Getting ass from 

an unknown stranger-you

Looking for monsters under the bed

and wishing them away-I

Waking up in an unknown place

With a helluva hangover-you

Waking up from little hands 

Shaking my shoulders-I

You and I=me

Me =two different truths

About the way your childhood

 Was seen

Poetry: Trapped

I wrote this poem in late 2005 when I was going to school full time, working part time and raising two kids.

Trapped in a maze 

Not knowing where to go

Gotta get out of this place

Before becoming conformity’s whore

A maze with traps

Like kids and responsibilities 

It’s all getting too suffocating

And I can’t breathe

A Year Since My Diagnosis: The Middle-Therapy Works

Around September,I started to logically understand how out of control my behavior was at times. The strange thing about it is it doesn’t feel like me when I’m acting that way. I’m a person who has always tried to have control over all aspects of my life. For example, when I was first diagnosed, I was naive enough to think that I could somehow “fast-track my healing” . I quickly learned that’s not how healing or therapy works. It didn’t matter how quickly I read my DBT workbook or did the exercises from there, how many poems I wrote about grief in one day, or how many healthy coping mechanisms I picked up along the way; healing and changing my behavior was going to take time and patience. I couldn’t speed up the process if I truly wanted to get better.

that DBT workbook I’ve started 5 times and I still can’t get past chapter 8-lol

I needed to learn to sit with my grief, anger, mania, self-hatred, and any other uncomfortable and painful emotions and learn a healthy way to process and cope with them instead of chasing it away with booze, sex, or binge shopping. It’s been hard to do, and I’ve stumbled along the way and have made many mistakes. One thing I’ve learned this year is that changing unhealthy patterns in my behavior had to be the most arduous and difficult work I’ve ever done. For example, maybe one day I’m feeling fat and ugly, the old me would have gone binge shopping on Amazon for a pretty dress or reached out to one of the casual Joes in my life for validation; the new and healthy version of me had to ask myself the whys of why I’m feeling fat and ugly and what triggered this reaction in me, do I need to write about it, what can I do to make myself feel better that doesn’t involved shopping or the validation from others? It’s way harder to face my insecurities head on than chase them away with a quick and temporary adrenaline rush or serotonin fix. Throughout all this it helped to have an incredible support system who gave me what I needed emotionally to process, grow and move forward in my journey. Part of that support system was my therapist who was kind, compassionate, knowledgeable, and patient with me. I was really tough to deal with at times and I wanted to break up with her at times cause she pushed me a lot when it came to my driving phobia. I remember having a panic attack in front of her because of a driving exposure but she calmed me down enough so I could do it. I got paranoid after thinking she would leave me but she didn’t. She stuck by me through the end of our therapy sessions in January of this year. The few times I’d missed a session, she would call me to check in and talk to me for at least 10 minutes to make sure I was okay. She was also respectful of me and my experiences. I’ve had therapists in the past who talked down to me and were condescending and she wasn’t one of them. People talk about finding “the one” at the “right time”; well in my case, I found the “right therapist” at the “right time” in my life. Here is a poem I wrote about her:

The Healer

From September to January, there was so much progress in my healing and mental health journey thanks to having the adequate resources and tools because of my therapist. I did beat a driving phobia (but that’s a story I’ll tell in depth later on) and I was free from suicidal ideation until May of this year. What was strange to me during these months was how I was learning to really live and enjoy my life. I remember that before my diagnosis, I’d get annoyed sometimes at having to spend time with my kids. During the months of September to December, something switched in me to have this new appreciation for motherhood and spending time with my children. My relationship with my three sons got better and I grew closer to them. I feel like I’m finally the mom my children deserve.
Here is a poem I wrote about them:

My Three Kings

My first king, I met at 17
when the nurse placed
an alien like being in my arms
She was like “feed him”
and I was like “how do I do that?”
What should I do with him?
Eventually I figured it out

My second king, I met at 24
as a birthday present, just like me
he had to make a dramatic entrance
but it was love at first sight
No one could take him from my arms
I knew what to do

My third king, I met at 30
He was a dream delivered
After a dream lost the previous year
He was planned, he was awaited, he was loved
He was welcome by everyone
with him, I felt a completion of love

1/24/2022

As I’ve also mentioned, my therapy sessions ended in January and after that I was on my own with my maintenance plan making sure I didn’t do anything to sabotage the progress I had made.

Video taken 1/5/22 and 1/16/22-during this time, I really started to thrive-it felt like years of progress within a span of 6 months

to be continued…

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”

Poetry: Here We Go Again

Masking be like

I wrote this poem in late 2005 thinking back on how I felt about my second pregnancy when I found out. It wasn’t an ideal situation at all because I was still in college and my relationship with my husband was on the rocks.

Being Strong is exhausting
always

This can’t be
happening to me!
but rarely does it ever lie,
that second pink line
Just when I was on right track
Again I am burdened for lying on my back
What will I do?
Who will I turn to?
How do I tell them?
Once again I am their biggest disappointment
To just sit here and cry
is just a waste of precious time
I have no choice
I have to get away from this awful noise
This will become my personal hell
Because of another persuasive male

Poetry: A Poem for My Third Born

A Poem for My Third Born

You were the rainbow
That came after the most dreadful storm
You were wanted, you were planned
You were loved
You were everything
Anxiously, I waited for your arrival
Counting down the months, the weeks,
And eventually the days
Cautiously, I felt hope
With every flutter,
And every kick
You were a ninja
Determined to reassure
This worried mama that
You were okay-
And I glowed bright
From your inner light
And finally
The day came
I would get to meet
My newest love made creature
And with your birth
Life finally felt complete

My Youngest Son Circa 2012

IMG_1190

My son is 11 Me and my youngest on 6/26/22