If you ask me what type of person I am… I can’t answer or if you asked me more than once the answer would be different each time…… the truth is I don’t know who I am! As a lot of people with BPD don’t.

I have done some research into the reasons for this and to be honest i didn’t come out with much, just theory’s and educated guesses….. which is better than nothing I guess.

According to Marsha Linehan you develop identity by observing your own emotions, thoughts, and feelings, in addition to others’ reactions to you. If you have BPD and the associated emotional instability, impulsive behaviors, and black and white thiking you may have difficulty forming a coherent sense of self because your internal experiences and outward actions are not consistent.

I also read something that stated your sense of self can come from other peoples reactions and opinions toward you… until i read this I had the uncertain belief (i’m never certain about anything) that if people push their opinions of you on to you for long enough you will start believe it… So if you come from an invalidating or abusive background and you are told constantly your are a bad person, you are stupid or you deserve to have bad things happen to you etc You will start believe it…. Especially if we don’t have any strong enough evidence to prove us otherwise, so we bring this into our adulthood. I have recently been looking to go back into education and am having this constant argument in my head as to whether I should or not… on the one hand I really want to better my life, I want to make something of myself… for myself and especially for my children’s futures… i want to aim high  and why shouldn’t I? the problem is when I ask this question in my head “Why shouldn’t I”? all i hear is…. because you cant do it… you aren’t clever enough… you will fail…. you don’t deserve it… that’s why you shouldn’t.

The truth is, I just don’t know…. I don’t know if i am clever enough the good and safe people I have around me now say they think I am… when I was a child I was naturally clever, I was bright. Maybe underneath all these warped opinions of myself there is still that intelligent being trying to get out.

Obviously self Identity goes beyond levels of intelligence and such like but that is the example that stick out for me right now… but If you adapt this to any thoughts of yourself you can get the gist.

I don’t know about other people but i find y confusion about who I am shows in my appearance…….If you looked at me you would believe I had a strong sense of identity, I have piercings in my face, a few tattoos, my hair is usually a different colour every month and my dress sense tends to match this look… my look has definitely gotten stronger over the past couple of years, I used to look very different on a day to day basis…. one day i would look like a massive chav, the next I’d look like something that had been dragged from a grave yard so I think I  am more comfortable with the way I look now but that doesn’t deter from the fact that I don’t look like I do because I have a strong self of identity… I look like i do because I’m trying to find what makes me unique… what differentiates me from others and I cant find this within my personality (because I don’t know my personality) so it comes out in my look.

I have previously asked people there honest opinions of who they think I am or what personality qualities I have and they usually all say similar things but usually no matter what they say (especially if its something positive) I just don’t see it, occasionally I do. If someone tells me I’m pretty I laugh because I don’t look in the mirror and see pretty. if someone says I’m clever, I frown because anything I’ve ever tried to do that requires intelligence i’ve failed at… I could keep going all day.

I think about the people that spent years dragging me down and telling me how shit I am and think “well they cant all be wrong.”

But what if they were? What if I am pretty? What if I am clever? What if I am funny? and all the other positive possibilities?……… What if I am wrong? And I’ve been wasting time because of self doubt rather than fact… and still sat here wasting opportunities, wasting a possible future.

This brings me no closer to finding myself.. I wish more than anything I could see what other people see, just a glimpse of a true self… I don’t know If I ever will ever find myself or my purpose, I don’t know what i’m capable of, I don’t know if ill I’ll succeed in anything, I don’t know if i can make a difference, I don’t know if i deserve to………. I do know, if I don’t try I’ll never know.

I don’t feel like I am in a Position to give advise, but I want to say that no matter what it is you doubt or it is you ‘don’t know’ don’t let the fear hold you back, Give it a go, you might surprise yourself… surely just trying something even if it doesn’t work out has got to be better than doing nothing and you might just find yourself along the way.

Thankyou for reading 🙂

Zo-Zo xx 

Advertisements

I’ve been sat here on and off for a couple of weeks now completely baffled as to what to write for this criteria. I feel that this is the most complex and confusing out of all the criteria simply because I think this is a problem made up from all the other criteria.

I’ve been trying to plan this out so it makes sense and in some sort of understandable format but uIn my head its all so intertwined and overlapping that I don’t think it’s going to make any sense but I’m going to try anyway (maybe that’s my BPD talking).

One of the things that cause us problems is our intensity of emotions, it can make it very hard for other people to bare. If we are mad, we are really mad. If we are sad, we are really sad, if we love, we really love too! And as with all of our emotions it is so intense and yes of course this can also cause us problems but  If you find the right kind of person to love with such intensity that wont take advantage of that then surly it makes it so much easier to enjoy and to overcome the negative feelings you have. When I love and I can show that love in its full capacity, I love with every single part of my being! I will worship and put you on pedestal,  I will do whatever it takes to make you happy, I will do anything for you, I will take care of you even though i can barley take care of myself , I will treat you like are the only person in the whole world and that you are the most special person in the whole world and ill believe it too! I personally would love to be loved like this….. so for the person on the receiving end, it cant be a bad thing…. can it?

Of course as with everything in BPD this in itself comes with its problem, the higher you hold someone the harder the crash is when they turn out not to be as perfect as you thought…. as everyone knows, no-one is perfect!

I think this is where the ‘black and white thinking’ causes problems (see previous blog on black and white thinking)

I think for me personally the greatest problem I have in relationships is my opinion of myself as i think it probably is with a lot of people with BPD. On the odd occasion I have found somebody decent I’ve pushed them away, I’ve doubted their intentions because of my own insecurities often asking why someone so nice or decent would want to be a part of my life …. why would someone that good love or even like someone like me? or frequently telling myself that I don’t deserve people being nice to me or treating me with respect…..

I’ve been in several destructive relationships and not left as soon as realized how bad things were…. when you are told so often that you will never do any better, your a no-body and will never amount to anything or you deserve whatever abuse is thrown at you… you start to believe it, especially when you’ve been told this for the best part of your life… you end up just taking any affection you can get even if it is at the cost of your self respect and dignity, that’s if you had any in the first place but sooner or later you pay the price and eventually realize that its just not worth putting yourself through it… doesn’t stop you doing the same thing with the next person though.

Another problem I have come across is people trying to ‘save me’ or make me happy or change me, I’ve lost a few people because of this…..They put so much effort into making you better and when they don’t succeed  it hurts them or they get frustrated and angry (I have to say I can understand this, I have spent so much time trying to force myself to be happy and better, it hurts when I haven’t and I get frustrated and angry with myself) but now i think i have finally accepted that this is how I am and I understand the reason why and am steadily taking step to improve it……. If people that have relationships could do this, this wouldn’t be a problem… BPD doesn’t just go away because something good happened or something made you happy, It just doesn’t

I have a perfect example of something really small but turned out to be quite a big deal…. I went out for a weekend with some amazing people and had an absolute blast, these people are Fantabulous, you cant help but smile when your around them. I had such an amazing time that when it was over and I went home, I was miserable, I was so down, being back in reality hit me like a ton of bricks! I missed smiling and laughing and having the affection I’d had for two days… I cried for hours, I ended up having suicidal urges and self harmed… I didn’t know why I was so upset at the time and felt so ungrateful that I’d had a such a brilliant weekend and was now miserable… and when they found out how I was feeling they were hurt and mad and I think they thought I was pretty ungrateful to if I’m honest, It was a kick in the teeth for them I guess……

Also I find it very hard to tell people what I am feeling or why (mostly because I don’t know half the time) I am very good at putting on my smile for other people benefit and pretending I’m fine, I do this for a thousand different reasons but it always turn out the same, there is only so long you can keep it up for… and when you do finally break or give in people are shocked, and hurt because they thought you fine, they don’t understand why all of a sudden your not fine… sometime they fail to see that you haven’t been fine for a long time so I guess that can be hard for people around someone with BPD too, as far as they are concerned it came out of the blue and you could break over the tiniest thing which to them seems absolutely ridiculous

I could go on with a huge list of what causes problems within a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD but if  I’m honest I would be here all day, all you have to do is read all the other criteria to see why this can be a problem and throw that into a mix of the other kinds of people in this world….

I will say of most of this personal to me and people I know with BPD I have tried to use generalized examples from what I have been taught about BPD  also but I cant speak for everybody and if anyone has anything to add, be my guest and if it offends anyone, that was no my intention…. thanks for reading 🙂

  • Black and white thinking. idealisation to devaluation

People with the BPD diagnoses tend to have extreme black and white thinking. Something is either really good or really bad. there is no grey area!

This type of thinking can be about anything: people, events, emotions.

With people you either put them on a pedestal or they are the devil reincarnated, no in between and this can happen with one person…..

If someone does something good or kind or makes you smile, you see them as the best thing ever, you believe they could never do any wrong and they would never do anything to hurt you or never do anything bad, even sometimes think they couldn’t make a mistake. You see them as perfect, obviously in a realistic world no-one is perfect. (white thinking)

With the realistic view in mind (which people with BPD rarely see) this person is bound to make a mistake at some point, they might hurt you, they might do something bad. this could be the smallest thing but to us it can be such a massive thing just as it is with the good things they do, you literally can go from one extreme to the other, only five minutes before you absolutely worshipped them and from one small mistake they are the worst thing ever, you hate them you don’t see that this is a good person that made a mistake, suddenly you see them as just a bad person, evil even.

I don’t know why people with BPD have these way of thinking (maybe i should research this), the way I personally see it is if you look at the emotions of people with BPD they are all in extremes, so if some does something good that makes you happy, you are REALLY happy so they are put on the pedestal. just the same if some one does something bad that makes you angry or upset or hurt you also feel all these to an extreme too. To me the black and white thinking is the reaction to the extreme emotions we feel. Extreme emotion provokes extreme reactions.

Personal perception on emotions

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

In this part i am going to try and put each criteria into my personal experiences I have to say that not everyone with BPD feels exactly like this but it may give you an idea of how they might feel at times. this is the first criteria x

  • having emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger

Imagine going to sleep every night not knowing how you are going to feel the next day, scared of how you might feel the next day. Or waking up with feeling of complete despair an not knowing why or where it came from. Imagine starting your day absolutely fine and the tiniest thing happens like buying the wrong type of milk within minutes your in a heap in the middle of the floor crying and confused and angry. feeling like you are completely useless and you cant do anything right and those thought leading to thought of not deserving to be here or people would be better off without because you just fuck everything up. Imagine having all these thoughts going around your head all at the same time… you seize to recognise that all you did was buy the wrong milk, the milk is just a by product of what your feeling now. Its so painful and so over whelming that you just cant take it, you literally feel like you are going to explode. You end up self harming to release all the pain or feel something different at least or worse, attempting suicide because you just cant take how bad it feels or how much you fail or just sometimes because you know that your feeling this way because of your illness and you feel like it will never change. You just want it to stop, you just want to be and feel ‘normal’. If you manage to get through this whole mess without using a damaging behaviour you find yourself just completely exhausted and emotionally drained and sometime in a state of disassociation…….. For some people it is always as bad this, and for some people its not. Some days are better than others sometimes your not so emotionally hyper sensitive and the reaction wont be as extreme.

try and imagine every emotion you feel, list them, experience them, feel what it feels like for you to be sad or angry or even happy, then time that by a thousand…. welcome to the life of  a borderline x

So i thought a good way to start would be by tell you the technicality’s of BPD. The diagnostic criteria and symptoms. And then maybe share a little bit about how i came about my diognoses of BPD and how the most important part.. how i deal with it and sometimes how i don’t deal with it.

What is borderline personality disorder?

BPD is one of many personality disorders listed in the diagnostic manuals used by clinicians when they are giving someone a psychiatric diagnosis.

Below are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder according to recent government guidelines. A doctor will diagnose borderline personality disorder in persons who have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on them.

  • having emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
  • Black and white thinking. idealisastion to devaluation
  • difficulty in making and maintaining relationships
  • having an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
  • taking risks or doing things without thinking about the consequences
  • harming yourself or thinking about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
  • fearing being abandoned or rejected or being alone
  • sometimes believing in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or seeing or hearing things that are not really there (called hallucinations).

People with borderline personality disorder have high rates of other mental health related problems, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance misuse (drugs or alcohol).

The question of ‘personality disorders’ is controversial, as what some experts term as ‘personality’ others regard as ‘the self’; so any suggestion that a person’s self is disordered, damaged or flawed can be distressing.

What are the typical feelings and experiences of people with BPD?

Some people with BPD may find themselves having a series of unstable and intense relationships, or clinging too long to damaging relationships, perhaps because of feeling insecure, alone or lacking self-worth.

People with BPD may find social relationships difficult because of their poor self image, feelings that they don’t fit or don’t belong, and moods and feelings which change rapidly. A feeling common to many people with BPD is a deep sense of emptiness. Here is how one person described it:

Feeling bereft and lifeless – with a void I can’t fill no matter how much food I put down or activity, exercise, self harm and constant thinking I’ve gone through. I try to keep busy to combat the emptiness but it only masks it. The best antidote is to try to experience life and relationships more fully then store the better memories.

Some people are tempted to harm themselves when their emotions become intensely painful and hard to cope with or express.

Many of those with BPD will sometimes feel suicidal and may attempt suicide.

When it was really bad, I would be in so much emotional pain that suicide seemed like the only way I could find any release. My attempts at overdosing kept failing: I was secretly screaming for someone to just listen to me and show me a way out. But in the end, if they wouldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to help me I would rather have been dead than carry on as I was – I just didn’t care about anything, apart from getting rid of the pain.

Research shows that people with BPD are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and make suicide attempts compared to people with other psychiatric diagnoses.

How common is BPD?

BPD is thought to affect less than one per cent of the general population. It’s been estimated that three-quarters of those given this diagnosis are women. It’s a condition that isn’t usually diagnosed until adulthood.

What causes BPD?

The causes of BPD are unclear. Most researchers think that BPD develops through interacting factors, such as temperament, childhood and adolescent experiences. Difficult life events such as the early loss of a parent, childhood neglect, sexual or physical abuse are common in people diagnosed with BPD, though this is not always the case, and people with other diagnoses may also have survived this kind of trauma.

In addition, the problems associated with BPD may become much worse following a stressful experience; for example, after the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a job.

What helps people with BPD?

  • People with BPD have a strong need to feel accepted, heard and understood.
  • They need a sense of safety; for instance consistent people and places where they can become attached while working through their difficulties.
  • There are a growing number of talking therapies that may help, when a person is ready and able.
  • Medication has helped some people to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings.
  • People with BPD may need a swift response when in crisis, whether it is in the day or at night.

Of course the reality of living with BPD isnt quite as simple as its explaination. As im sure you will find out throughout my blogs