This journal is becoming decidedly self-obsessed. It feels like I moan about life to the extent that I am an ungrateful brat. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life compared to many people. I have a partner who loves me. I have a home. I have enough money to live on. I’m able to express myself through my art. In that respect, I am extremely grateful for what I have. I just wish I could feel that gratitude more.
I spent many free hours today reading the journal of a beautiful young woman named Eva. She suffered from Cystic Fibrosis and despite transplantation, experienced Chronic Rejection and died earlier this year. Her journey was incredibly inspiring. Despite going through a living hell, she remained a light in so many peoples’ lives, and left a legacy in the form of an intimate documentary about her life. If you want to read about her, you can still access her journal at 65_redroses.livejournal. com. It brought me to tears on many occasions.
Why was it so hard to read? I guess because even though it puts my struggle in perspective, there are aspects of life that I do not understand. Here’s a young woman, the same age as me, with a chronic physical condition. Yet she is self-motivated, confident, charismatic, brave…so brave. She smiles through the pain and her strength is awe-inspiring. Then there’s me. Pretty capable, physically. Able to follow my dreams, you would think. Situationally I have a good lot in life, despite some medical issues. And yet I still wake up sad, I still struggle to control my urges, to not hit self-destruct. And I feel so damn guilty for it. I really do. I feel like I should have been taken instead of someone who clung so dearly to life, who wanted to thrive so badly.
Obviously I don’t want to die. I don’t. I love being alive, and every step I take is a positive one, towards a better future. What doesn’t kill me has made me strong. My life experiences have given me awesome perspective and the wisdom to pass my strength on to others that are still suffering.
I guess what I need to focus on right now are the positives.
Last night’s gig was awesome. I played and sang well, got lots of compliments and got paid at the end of it all. Always a bonus. Yet I still felt anxious, hollow, scared…sad ☹.
Gosh, I am whining.
I see my therapist on Friday. I haven’t seen her in over a month. I guess I have been avoiding her calls and not made appointments because I can’t face leaving the house on my own and bussing it to town. I have to see her though. She puts me in a better place.
The problem I have with her is emotional attachment.
I’ll try to explain. Having BPD I find myself often viewing older females in my life as mother figures. I guess it extends the opposite way too in that I fear older men and am extremely uncomfortable alone with a man.
So my journey with S started over a year ago. I met her whilst in a detox facility, being treated for drug and alcohol abuse. I was in a pretty bad way. I had been severely self-harming, to the point where I had almost died several times, and being in resus was getting too regular. I was actually afraid OF myself. Weird hey?
She ran a therapy program in the hospital and once I had been discharged she offered to take me on as a client. Of course by that time I had already attached myself to her emotionally and was almost honoured that she would want anything to do with me. We’ve been working together since last September and the further along we get in therapy the closer I get to her. Which also freaks me out, makes me want to push her away instead of having to deal with the eventual rejection when she decides not to see me anymore. Sometimes I want to be sick again so that she won’t leave me. I have a huge fear that when I’m seen as ‘better’, as well enough not to need therapy any more, I will crumble without her.
My whole life I have attached myself to teachers, youth leaders, older women in general. It is either love or hate. Sometimes I hate my therapist because I feel like she can control how well I am, and that when she assumes I don’t need to see her one week, it really affects me and I generally end up depressed and isolating.
I had a CBT therapist when I was 18, in an ED clinic. I HATED her. I actually really did. She would drive me to the point of sitting fuming in silence. I blame her for my OD at the time. I guess because she made me so mad and told me I was catastrophising and I wasn’t ever going to kill myself. So I attempted suicide out of spite. How ridiculous. Anyway soon after she dumped me on the psychiatric services, saying she couldn’t deal with my self-harm. Genius. Although I never ever liked seeing her through the two years we worked together, I was still devastated when she abandoned me. I phoned her and begged her to take me back and she point blank refused. It really hurt.
It sounds so ridiculous. Crying over the loss of someone I didn’t even like. All she ever did was accuse my dad of sexual abuse (which NEVER happened) or tell me she sensed a lot of ‘anger’ in the room. Plus she was very overweight. Now I realise that is a superficial comment. But treating me at 18 with an ED is tricky when all I perceived was that if I followed her advice and ate properly then I would end up fat and would be so distressed I would kill myself. See how things escalate in my mind?!
These attachment issues have got me into big trouble. I realise that it does stem from the experiences with my mother and father rejecting me emotionally in childhood.
I have always had a mother who just thinks that the way to deal with someone’s problems is to ‘buck up’ and just get over it. Despite the fact that she suffered from post-natal depression. She once told me that she just kept on living as normal, feeling that way, but telling herself that she wasn’t depressed, tricking her brain. She is convinced that this led to the disappearance of her depression. What became clear as an older child was that my mother had rejected me as a baby. She spent a long time when I was very young in a mother and baby psych unit and I guess that we didn’t bond. I used to hate her. Now we have a good relationship and she is more open about my struggles than she ever was when I needed her most. Both of my parents took the ‘bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not real’ approach.
I remember my favourite teacher, who I was massively attached to, betraying my trust by phoning my parents and telling them I was cutting and burning. They flipped out. I was only 15. Yet their solution? ‘DON’T DO IT EVER AGAIN’. And we never talked about it until I ended up needing stiches a year later. At 18 I weighed under 5 stone and flew myself to Australia to stay with relatives there, because my parents were refusing to take notice. They just didn’t want to deal with it. So I was emotionally starved in times of great need. I remember being curled in a tight ball on the floor one night, crying in pain because my body was shutting down from starvation. I was too tired to walk, my body HURT, I no longer had periods. My hair fell out…the list is endless. And they never said a word. So I took myself out of the situation. I will post more about my anorexia/bulimia in another entry. I just wanted to give some context as to the extent of my abandonment issues.
I guess you could say that was bad. As was the torture of having my dad rejected me out of fear, embarrasment, shame…I don’t know what.
Yet I feel like one of the worst periods of my life was when I was doing my A-Levels. My parents actually enrolled my in college when I was still overseas. As usual they controlled my life. I was in a way glad to have a focus, and I loved it there. I had three years there and I got healthier in some respects. I also grew WAY too attached to a teacher named N, to the point where I would watch for her car in the carpark, and watch her in college when she didn’t know I was there. I was OBSESSED with her. I just wanted her to pick me up and cuddle me and melt away the pain. We were actually very close, as I was her favourite student and spent most of my time in her office. Yet I think it was unhealthy because I’d come home and spent my nights obsessing over what it would be like for her to adopt me, take me in and care for me. I was pretty numb when I finally left. Days when she seemed to reject me I would go home and cry.
Given that I was also being sexually abused at the time (I’ll get to that), I was always suicidal, crying in classes, acting out, being awful to the teachers. I was cutting daily, starving and bingeing, purging…the list is a long one. I really needed N to cling to. I guess I used her too much in some respects, but after my parents kicked me out I felt so rejected that I put more emphasis on my relationship with her. It was terribly bad for me inside, because often I would hate her for not noticing me more, for not taking care of me. Bear in mind she was only a teacher! These issues run deep.
The reason why my parents eventually rejected me and kicked me out? It started when I developed PTSD after being sexually abused. I developed severe eczema that was related to us having a family dog, who made my skin worse because of my allergies. Several doctors asked my parents to get rid of the dog because it was killing me. I had cellulitis around my eyes, constant eye infections, I could hardly see, I was bleeding all over, my body was COVERED in eczema. I was always on steroids and antibiotics.
Yet, still, my father was so attached to the DOG that he kicked me out instead of giving up the dog. I had nowhere to go and ended up living with strangers from church. Bear in mind I’d never even talked to this couple. And I was halfway through A-Level exams. It was pretty bad. I was psychotic from the stress and in a bad way. I guess that’s why I moved out and to a different country. A fresh start. University. Friends…
Subjects I have touched on that I must elaborate on:
Sexual abuse (two men)
Episodes of hospitalisation
The A word
Alcoholism and drug addiction
I will begin to fill in the blanks. I don’t think this is ever going to be remotely chronological but I will attempt to give dates. Sorry this post was so long. I feel mixed up.