I Can’t See You

I need an escape. I clawl my way from the bottom, trying to get to the top and I can’t seem to get a grip. I slide down the sides of these walls because there is no solid ground. It’s like an avalanche all around me and the bottom is filling quickly. Soon I will run out of air but I don’t even know if that will bother me.

I see you above me; holding a rope. You are screaming at me to hold on. Your words fall on deaf ears. I see you and I understand what you are saying but I am not worth it. There are so many other people you can give your rope to; help them.

At the last moment I lunge for the rope. Too scared to go under. The rope feels good in my hands as you try to pull me out. I’m too heavy; too much borderline. The rope is slipping through my hands causing dust and dirt to fly through the air. Just as the dirt and dust go all around me, so do my thoughts. ‘How did I get to this point?,’ I think.

And just as quickly as the rope leaves my hands, I see you disappearing from my view. Everything is black.

Until next time,

Allison

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You Can Sit in the Front

Being a person with Borderline Personality Disorder is like being on a rollercoaster. Everyday has an up and down; even if my day is going well, you don’t know what is setting me off and going on in my head.

Waking up is like taking a ride everyday; the ride looks great from afar- it starts with waiting in line and waiting for your turn and once you are at the front of the line you need to take that ride… after all, all your friends are doing it.

I get on the rollercoaster and take the first seat available; the front seat. That’s it, I crave the thrill of the ride. I feel nauseous but I am anticipating the seat belt check and the team member to give us the ‘go ahead.’ This time I am going to make it.

Click, click, click… I can feel the ride and the day starting off bumpy. My whole body shakes with the click, click, click of the tracks. My day starts off with not wanting to go to work because I don’t feel like I am making an impact; but I stay in my seat till I reach the top.

Just as fast as I get to the top, something sets me off and I am plummeting to the ground; a thought, a feeling, a memory. I try to open my eyes but the flashes in my head are too fast and I just tightly grab the bar and close my eyes. I don’t want to be in my head.

The twists and turns come as fast as the initial drop and my head is making things up about me. Telling me that I am not good enough and that I don’t belong.

The ride is jolting me left and right no matter how many times I checked the seatbelt, I am still being pushed back and forth. I hold on as tight as I can but this skill doesn’t help. I hit my head on the side; I hit the side repeatedly and I can’t stop. It’s the way to make the thoughts stop so I just let it happen.

My day comes to a slow plateau when I pass Joe on the side of the rollercoaster. He is watching me and cheering for me on the side and telling me to hold on and he will be there at the end of the day; at the end of the ride.

The rollercoaster comes to a screeching halt and I hear, ‘click, click, click…whoosh.’ and that’s the end. I get out of the first car with bumps, bruises and a sense of accomplishment.

I made it another day; I made it another ride.

Until next time,

Wait for me at the end.

 

Please Stay with Me

My heart is aching, my body is breaking and I don’t know what to do. There are so many thoughts that go along with being like this. I am stupid, ungrateful and dumb but really all I feel is numb. You will never understand because your feet aren’t in the same place that I stand. I stand among you but you don’t know the thoughts that pass through my mind; the thoughts that come and go. My world is shifting and I tend to fall. I get up again and again but I am so tired and don’t stand as tall as you. I slouch and crouch down so I can’t be seen. I can’t let you see me and what this all means. I don’t understand it myself because I am so lost and it’s dark here. I want to be better but there feels like there is no end in sight. Some days are light but the darkness sets in and there is nothing in front of me or in back of me, just an abyss. You face the night but I face the darkness. I can’t see my hand in front of me because it is too dark. Even the bright white of my hand can’t be seen in front of my face. My thoughts are just as dark but I try not to let you see because how would you feel about me? If I really told you my thoughts I know you would run; run as far as you can because who wants to be next to me? Do you really want to walk by my side to go with me step by step? I am safe and I am not actively hurting myself; they are just thoughts and thoughts they will stay because I could never die that way. Please stay with me and see my thoughts. Please don’t leave me because I can’t take that loss. Please stay with me because I can’t be alone. Please stay with me because I can’t be left behind. Please stay with me until this passes. Please stay with me.

Until next time,

I wish I wasn’t a borderline

Red Tape

You ask me how I am doing and I say I am doing fine. You keep asking me because you know that it isn’t true. You ask me how I am doing- I give you more information, ‘not good’, I say; ‘it’s been a tough week.’

Again you ask because you truly want to help me, I tell you that I think about hurting myself and you get nervous. For you, this is new, something you didn’t know about me but for me, it’s every day life. Every second the thought passes through my mind like a rapid fire rifle.

You start to get uncomfortable and start to show me all the gifts I have in my life and how I would be leaving my family. I hear you but my mind is racing- perhaps I have shared too much? You are on high alert like the United States on a holiday.

I start to shut down. I start to shut down. I can’t talk to you about this because it’s not normal and you have every right to feel the way you do. You have every right to show me what I have and what I would be ‘giving up.’ However, I already know this information.

I start to shut down. My engine is out of gas. The gas light has come on but I have no desire to find a gas station. I have no desire to pump more gas. I can’t make you feel better and keep myself from rolling off the nearest cliff.

You care about me so much and I, you, but we shouldn’t talk about this anymore. You are trying so hard to ‘help’ and I am trying so hard not to shut down but it’s impossible.

From now on, I need to conform with the rules of society. I need to feel what is right even if it’s a lie. Bound my hands and mouth with red tape. I need to conform to societal norms.

And even if I am trying to conform to society, I am cheating myself because I am not validating myself; ‘it’s not me,’ I say, ‘it’s society.’ There is such a stigma on people like myself. We live in a world where we are not accepted and our thoughts and feelings are strange. We are dangerous to the normal society because our thoughts shake up what is considered normal.

I shake up society; much like an earthquake in southern California. The buildings around me our strong but my building is crumbling. No one knows why but my building is not as strong as yours. When an earthquake comes, I hurt people. Bound me in red tape; bound me in yellow caution tape. ‘Do Not Cross,’ it says. Yellow tape is everywhere. You can’t cross because you will see the mess I have become; the mess that I am.

I will rebuild. I will get stronger. I will cut the tape but I need to cut the tape alone. You can’t be there because you don’t have scissors.

Until next time,

Learn to use scissors.

Lie to Me

​I feel so phony. I look at you and smile but inside I am so lonely.

My smile is as fake as they come and inside, you don’t know it, but I am coming undone. 

My head rushes like a train about to fall off the tracks and there is no way to get it back.

‘You are bad at this, you are bad at that; you aren’t good enough and don’t even try to look back.’

The lights are on but there is nobody home. Knock, knock, knock… the door is locked and you can’t come in. The door is bolted and this is my sin.

I fear for my life; I fear for my sanity. There is nothing worth saving inside of this body.

I’m broken and torn to shreds and the darkness is the part I dread. 

My voice inside my head is tearing me apart; it starts first with my heart.

‘I’m not good enough. You are a terrible mom, wife, friend and teacher. It has all been said before. People hate you and you are a bore.’

No one wants to be around you or hear you because you are always stuck. Stuck in the pile of mud and muck.

My thoughts are like mad libs but I’m the writer. My brain fills in the adjectives, verbs and nouns and at the end, my brain laughs as I drown.

The thoughts are overwhelming and they make me feel undone. There is nothing you can say to make it go away.

I feel so alone. I scream it out but no one can hear me because it’s a silent shout.

It’s written all over my face. It’s that fake smile I keep. I feel so lonely and I know you are here but I want you here. 

Hold my hand and dry my tear. Lie to me and tell me there is nothing to fear. 

Lie to me and tell me it will be ok. 

Lie to me and tell me that one day I will be well. 

Lie to me and tell me…

Until next time, 

Lie to me

 

Walking the Path

colorado-logo-49I walk the path; I try to walk the path- staying in the middle of my mind and my thoughts. I walk the path, feeling the sun on my face and feeling it’s warmth. The gentle breeze moves through the trees and although I am alone, I can hear someone whisper ‘there is hope.’

I walk the path but fall to one side. I fall down a cliff and my thinking is black and white. I hate myself, I hate you and I hate everything about this world. I fell off the path. I can’t find my way back because it’s so dark and alone here. No one knows these thoughts of self-hatred except for me.

Ending life seems easier on this side of the path; less responsibility; less pain; less of me. On this edge of the cliff there is nothing to grasp on to; I feel the freezing cold air rush past my face and I fall deeper and deeper into this abyss. The fall seems to go on forever until I hit the jagged rocks at the bottom. I hate this place but I am here often. I have to work on getting back to the middle path.

I climb up the mountain side; trying to grasp anything I can but the landslide starts. I am dirty, muddy and tired. I keep slipping down this side of the mountain unable to reach the top. I can still see the rays of sunshine that once warmed my face just moments ago but now I am wet and cold. I can’t get up because it’s easier to lay here and give up and to think about how life would be better without me. Even though I am alone, I can hear a voice whisper, ‘there is hope.’

I start to climb again and although I am dirty and cold, I don’t care because it only shows me where I have been and the struggle that I have been through. The blood on my hands only shows me how far I have fallen and how jagged the rocks are; how jagged and distorted my thoughts have become.

I start to climb and there, above my head, is a hand reaching over the cliff. Someone willing to lift me up over the rocks and the mud. I get to the top covered in embarrassment and shame and I hear her whisper, ‘there is hope.’ She is with me for an hour and then I am on my own. I still know that she is close by but she is not physically with me and I wish that she could walk with me all the time to be sure that I don’t slip and fall again.

I try to walk the middle path but I stumble and fall over tree roots and rocks. Each stumble and each fall is just another part of my journey and although I am physically alone, I can hear someone whisper, ‘there is hope.’

She is there through each stumble and each fall. She is there when I climb the other side of the path; this side is full of joy, triumph and success. Right now, this side of the path is brief. The sun is warm here and I can feel love; something I know is there but don’t feel often because of my own self-hatred. This feeling of success and being recognized for my success and believing my success is so unfamiliar but there is that voice that whispers, ‘there is hope.’

I try to walk the middle path knowing that I need a balance between the two cliffs. I need to feel pain and I need to feel success. I need to feel sadness and I need to feel joy. I need to feel despair and I need to feel hope. One does not work without the other because walking the middle path is about balance and about letting go. Walking the middle path is about feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, the warm breeze brushing your cheek and even accepting the summer rain. Walking the middle path is about accepting both sides; walking the middle path is about radically accepting life as it is in this moment.

Walking the middle path is a new way of thinking and a new way of life.

Until next time,

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder is about getting muddy when you fall but knowing that the sun is just over the cliff if you are willing to make the climb.

 

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

I have a fantastic therapist, her name is Colleen. I couldn’t ask for a better person to help me through life. I couldn’t ask for someone to care about me the way she does.

In one breath, I love her to death and in the other, she drives me crazy. I hate the way she calls me out on my bullshit and I hate how hard she makes me work and I hate how she knows more about me than I know about myself.

Colleen is one of those people that doesn’t give up; no matter how challenging and frustrating I may be, she doesn’t give up. My last therapist left me at a restaurant so dealing with Colleen is a huge difference and it’s a difference that I am not used to.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, so I have a lot of issues with learning how to balance relationships, whether personal or professional. I have to learn how to be a person that can deal with sitting in the silence and being able to be my own best friend.

Last week was a really hard week for me because my balance was way off and I was relying on Colleen to basically help me breathe. It was so debilitating for myself and for my family and for Colleen. I don’t know how to describe how I felt but it’s like being a kid and needing a parent to guide you. That was exactly how I treated Colleen; like a mom and I was the child needing constant attention. I am not proud of that and in fact, it’s humiliating to rethink life in a different way; granted, it’s only been a week, but it’s a week that makes me proud.

Colleen is really good at keeping the boundaries to a client-therapist relationship. However, being me, I see those boundaries as she hates me because of my disorder. When Colleen pulls back from me to keep those boundaries firm, it’s hard for me to not feel rejected. It doesn’t feel good but in all the lessons that she teaches me, the lesson always has a light at the end. Nothing lasts forever and she always says, ‘this too shall pass.’ God, I hate that because I don’t believe her but here I am not having to contact her and not worried that she hates me because I am not in the forefront of her mind.

In this horrible lesson, and I mean horrible because of my distorted thinking, it has been a blessing. I do want someone that cares about me like a parent would care for their child but our relationship can never be that. She reassures me that even though I have transference issues (feeling like she is a mom figure to me), it’s normal. However, I realize that last week was too much for both of us and I feel bad that I became that client.

And even though I feel bad, I realize it’s not my fault and Colleen is able to teach me lessons in life and give me self confidence to realize that I am 100% capable to be an adult but the key to this, is to believe in myself and know that I am capable of breathing without her knowing about it.

Being a Borderline, in therapy is hard because I want so much from my therapist; and I want so much from every relationship. I didn’t get what I wanted- I didn’t get a parent but I have a mentor and a therapist that won’t give up on me. Relying on myself is hard and I feel like this is the first time in a long time that I had to do it and I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself.

I am learning skills to help me through life and as much as I scoff at the skills sometimes they are amazing when they are used correctly and used all the time. Imagine that?

Being in my position is hard and it’s exhausting; literally exhausting. Using skills to try to be a normal person and live a normal life is hard and frustrating but I am starting to see that I am perfectly capable to do it on my own. I am not saying I won’t have hard moments or moments of weakness but right now, in this moment, I feel like I am capable.

Colleen, thank you for believing in me and never giving up. I know what you do isn’t easy but you are an amazing therapist and I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for you pushing me continuously.

You have been extremely supportive, even when the lessons are hard to learn. I hate that you call me out on my bullshit but, I see now, that you have to do that so I can learn how to be a better person. You are teaching me how to be a capable person and that is something I can honestly say that I am proud of and I usually am not proud of anything that I do. Yes, for me, this is a big deal. I don’t care if it’s a week or a year; it has to do with the little steps that you are teaching me and I feel like this time, I am going to make amazing strides with you by my side.

Until next time,

Thank you for teaching me how to breathe again