Running

I wish I ran track as hard as I run from myself. At first I never really know I’m running from me until ironically I began to feel those clear oxygen deficient symptoms. I’m laughing because I never really realized that i was experiencing similar mental “out of breathness” till now. I start feeling like im suffocating, so I run harder. And almost as if  have deprived my brain for oxygen too long, I began to experience a mental lightheadness characterized by pure delirium. My thoughts start racing a mile a minute, probably hoping that the harder it pumps them out the greater the chance coherence and sanity will return. Then just like that everything fades to black and numbness slips over me comfortingly.

 I ran so hard but in the end I wasn’t fast enough. I collapse on my bed and she catches me and accosts me. “Why are you running from me?!” I try with all my might to roll over but my body just lays there for my brain is too depleted, too deprived of oxygen to direct my body to flee, even if just to face the west wall. “I hate you, I hate you, LOOK AT MEE!!” I stare. I think about those good ole sleeping pills and the prospect of just slipping away for a few. She cries. I stare. She’s tired. I stare. She throws her hands up and turns from me, broken. 

I sit up. I can feel myself breathe again. I see her, dressed in rags, hallow eyes, emaciated, cold. I begin to feel for her. Tears fall. 

I now have a choice. Care for her, bathe her, clothe her, feed her. Stroke her face tenderly, lovingly. Love her. Or Run. 

I choose the worst. I stand over her and cry. She looks up at me and cries too. She knows I care, but she cries because she knows that regardless I am going to abandon her. I turn. She cries out barely above a whisper, “wait.” And I run. 

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I have wanted to write a new blog post for weeks now. I feel like the words are just stuck in my throat and that not even my brain has access to everything that I feel and would want to say if I could. 
Lately it’s been feeling like I can’t breathe all the time. So many things are wrong on the inside that I don’t know how to share with anyone, including God and including myself. 

I see who I want to be and I see all of the hurdles that stand in the way of me becoming that person, and I get so discouraged. I give up. I lay back in the bed, or I sink deeper into my chair, or I walk those hallways on autopilot and just give up. 

It’s almost as if I have gotten so close to the end of this long dark tunnel that I have been in that when the light is an arms stretch away, I don’t want to finish. Am I afraid? Things have been so broken for so long that maybe I am not ready to inhabit a world where fighting isn’t so hard anymore. Before I had to fight for my survival. I had to fight like hell to keep my head above the water. Now, yea some days the emotions are overbearing and all the symptoms of my BPD that I have come to know as home, are all still here, but they don’t overtake me as strong as they use to.

I have fought so hard to survive that now I have a chance at life, and I see it, but I don’t mind walking away from it. Am I depressed? I don’t know. 

Things I am Learning

1. While healing there is going to be pain, but absolutely no one is responsible for alleviating the pain. The pain is part of the process and learning how to carry it fosters growth. There is also a tremendous amount of inner beauty felt when another day goes by and you have carried the pain gracefully, and in a way that makes you proud. 

2. Forgiving yourself for the times you didn’t know how to carry the pain is crucial. The people affected by those moments are entitled to their thoughts of you, and have the right to resent, dislike, and not forgive you. All you can do is sincerely apologize and release the guilt. Guilt won’t help either of you, and you have the right to change and move on. 

3. Boundaries are SUPER important. They really do keep both parties safe. Create boundaries, and ALWAYS respect the boundaries of others, no matter how close you feel you are. We are all separate people. SB: I think with the fall of man came the imperfect union of “being one flesh.” Yet we’re still created with that hole, maybe God is the only one we can enmesh ourselves with to fill it. So respect the boundaries as time, patience, love, naturally renogotiates those boundaries, not your forcing it. 

4. Your mom has boundaries too that also need to be respected. 

5. Cry a lot when no one can hear you or see you. Crying breaks the heart of those who care about you. It’s ok to cry in front of people and sometimes ask help from people to help carry the pain even if for a minute. But when time and personal growth is the last remedy to the pain, cry the tears that are always threatening to fall, and create joyful memories with all the ones around you who care about you. 

6. Don’t make people pay for others mistakes.

7. Lastly, be ok in the in between of no longer wanting to die, but not yet knowing how to live. As you can see, you got to the point where Suicide stopped being an answer so more growth awaits if you just stick it out. And when suicide does fleetingly pass, breathe, your hurting and your body is telling you it needs you, listen. 

Accepting The Past’s Trauma for a Better Tomorrow

Yesterday I woke up knowing it would be a hard day. After work I found my strength wavering and tears falling as I rode the train home and texted a friend to ask for 45 undivided minutes because I felt a surge of things needing to be poured out. Immediately she called, she didn’t know I was crying or that I was feeling so low, but i’m thankful for friends that don’t need for me to be dying in order to be present. I sat in a park and poured my heart out, mostly in tears, explaining that I just don’t understand why a part of me can’t let go. I wake up every day and do what i’m suppose too, but I always feel like i’m just living to push through instead of actually living, which always leaves me questioning what’s the point.
At the end of our talk, I realized and decided that if I want to see even more improvement then I need to push myself to do even more than just the bare minimum. Living for the minimum is empty and I will always feel purposeless, so I need to push myself to do more, and I left the park determined to do so. 

Then just like that I stumbled upon a picture of the person i’ve been actively avoiding on my instagram explore page. A rush of pain just consumed me. My stomach went numb and I could feel the tingling. My legs began shaking uncontrollably. Alligator tears were just falling unprovoked. My mind felt like it was drowning and the only thoughts coming to the surface were, hurt yourself. Before, these thoughts were immediately acted upon before I even had time to register what was happening. However, I have grown better through continued therapy, so I texted my therapist and did the best thing I knew to calm me while I waited for her to call me, I rocked as I sung “Jesus be the center of my life.” As I waited, God was with me reminding me that we are a team, that I just have to ride it out, keep breathing, keep rocking, keep circling the scrunchie through my hands (repetitive motions are extremely comforting for me idk why). 

My therapist called and my main question was why does seeing her with people she loves instantaneously drive me to this point? And she eloquently and accurately explained to me that simply put it makes me feel rejected, abandoned, and betrayed. I see her with all this love that she can dole out to others and feel betrayed that none of that love can be doled out to me anymore. Then she continued to say that, “whether you agree or not, you were traumatized and you just never built any tolerance to handling abandonment, or rejection in that form. The tolerance is just not there sweetie, and wanting it to not be so won’t change it.”

I calmed and this got me thinking about trauma. Out of I guess pride and desire to always NOT be a statistic, I NEVER allowed myself to believe that my dad’s passing affected me. I thought it shameful and disgusting to call myself traumatized when people experience “real” traumas daily. But what if the shameful and disgusting thing is my pride that keeps me from accepting this reality as my own? That i’m not as resilient or strong or better than the “statistics.” 

In an effort to do things differently in order to begin to see different results, I am going to accept the reality that I experienced something that I never understood or learned to process, and that is why I can’t understand or process it now. If any of the nine year olds I work with experienced what I did, I would immediately feel heartbroken for them out of sheer intuitive understanding that a loss like that is devastating. I watch my kids, especially the girls, run to their fathers during dismissal. I listen as they recount stories of where their dad brought them for their birthday, or the gifts they bring back from traveling. Now that I think about it they don’t talk about their moms. I know the occupations of some of their fathers through the awe insipred retelling of a child. And when they run to their dad, I think, that was me. 

My memories are all but obliterated of me and my dad. Up until recently i thought i barely knew the man. But thats trauma. My sisters and mother tell me about how he was the only person I was close to. The only one I wanted to spend time with. The only one i’d eat dinner with, and sometimes I think I feel certain memories coming back. 

But they must be right because the memory that never goes away was how on August 17th we had a bbq and I was sitting at my dads feet waiting for him to give me the rest of his champagne cola. My mother was telling me to let him drink and get another one but I ignored her, patiently waiting for the drink that always came. Then on August 18th I stood and watched him struggle to breathe. Front row and center, everyone panicking too much to notice I was there and maybe remove me. He struggled and struggled as my mom tried to get the asthma machine down his throat. He was making noises and grabbing at his throat, he began to defecate himself, and I just stood there glued to the ground. Slowly his color changed, and then supported by my mom his lifeless body fell off the chair to the ground. He layed there until the morgue people came, zipped him in his black bag then took him away. I next saw him in the open casket in his suit and tie, then finally sealed away in his tomb. 

I can’t conjure up feelings where they don’t exist. I didn’t mourn then and i’m not mourning now. I simply exist with this as my reality. But it’s a reality that I have to give its credit for who I am now if I have any hope of a different future. Maybe just maybe my therapist is right, “My psyche finds strangers to turn into surrogate parents, knowing they will fail, to recreate the trauma and allow me to mourn safely.” I’m not a therapist, I don’t know why the heck a psyche would want to recreate trauma, but looking over the course of my life it looks like thats been my ONLY purpose in life, recreating trauma. Heaping impossible demands on people so they can fail and I can try to “fix it” so that they don’t fail and they don’t leave, because I couldn’t fix what happened when i was nine. But they always fail. 

I hope that by accepting this my psyche can start to heal. 

God Sees You and He Cares

This is a very impromptu post, but this thought just came into my heart and I wanted to share it. No edits, no touchups, just writing then sharing with you all.

I am very unhappy and I am very broken. Sometimes I still struggle with self-destructive behaviors, and am actually currently struggling with it now which is why I think I felt prompted to write this post. 

I am laying in bed bleeding physically and emotionally when God reminded me that i’ve been here before. However that reminder came with this unexplainable peace. I am in this cycle, an emotional roller coaster. I soar, then halfway in flight, I lose sensation, all awareness of why I am even flying. Where am I flying to, and whats the purpose of getting there? Instantaneously, I stop flapping my wings and allow myself to fall, not really caring where I land, how it will hurt, or who I will hurt on the way down. I just fall. I land and start thinking, if all I am going to do is lay here broken and useless then why keep breathing. But I still continue to breathe. I breathe until little by little, I find myself moving and eventually on the way to flying again. 

When God whispered to me that i’ve been here before, it took on this whole new meaning. At first, I wanted to ignore him because I don’t know why He would even come to me while I am in my sin. But what if what I see as failure, as a waste of life, God sees as purpose and all part of the process?

I don’t think God is surprised by my downs, sometimes I even feel like it makes sense to Him. But what He focuses on is that I don’t stay down as long as I use to. I fly longer. I have more genuine moments of peace and happiness. I am improving. All I see is the fall, whereas He sees the whole picture. He sees I’m struggling but that I’m honestly trying. Saying i’ve been here before is not meant to patronize me or make me feel like a screw up because I mess up. But I think He sees the shame I feel, the confusion I feel, the hopelessness, and He’s saying you see a dirty life, but I see temporary process. 

But here’s the realization that really brought peace. There’s room for my brokenness in His plan. It’s like I zoomed out and saw a glimpse of the whole world, and all around there was just broken people, suffering people, everywhere. Then I saw me, and I belonged and I mattered. My brokenness wasn’t an inconvenience, it wasn’t taking up space or time. I saw everyone in need and I also saw me. 

It just felt like God was saying I see everyone but I still also see you. Don’t worry about the cycle, be patient, i’m in control. I then pictured me as a hamster on a wheel and I began running the wheel with fervor, like i feel like im not getting anywhere now, but this wheel is attached to a generator, and if I run it long enough eventually the power meter will be full then the next phase will take off. My cycle is generating power for where God wants to take me next. 

God isn’t saying stay in sin. He’s saying recognize the pattern, and don’t be afraid to talk to me about the sin that confuses you. Don’t be afraid. You are confused. You genuinely don’t understand. Faith is doing whats right without understanding, but then there are just some core issues that won’t yield to our small faith alone. 

Mark 9:23-25, 28-29     Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

So don’t be afraid when your faith is too small; that’s an opportunity to talk with God and strengthen your relationship with Him. Understand that the truth is whether you like it or not somethings you will struggle with for a long time, so believe that God believes you, that He is validating you, and struggle through WITH Him. 

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 2

The more I study the story of Leah, the more I realize that this is going to turn into a series. God is revealing so much to me, and my heart has been feeling so full spending time in my bible. I haven’t felt anything inside of me for a while now. But when I’m reading and studying the story I feel a mixture of ache and hope for a future that was often eclipsed by my depression.

If you have not read Part 1: you can do so here, as that sets the stage for this next post.

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As I have been reading, though this journey originally started with how I am coming to see myself in Leah, I believe that an even more accurate representation of myself is painted by separating the child inside of me and my adult self. While reading about Leah, the similarities between Rachel and I became too much to ignore.

I will try my best to include all relevant information but for a better understanding I suggest reading Genesis 29-30.

Background:
When Jacob arrived in the Land of his Uncle Laban, he fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s daughter, at first sight. Totally enamored, he agreed to work for Laban a total of 7 years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage. At the end of the 7 years, Laban tricked Jacob by disguising his elder daughter Leah, and bringing her into the wedding chamber that night.

SSUP23Top Jacob who was probably drunk and excited from the wedding festivities did not realize He christened a marriage with Leah and not Rachel until the morning. Jacob was furious, but Laban explained that it is not their custom to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. Jacob agreed to marrying Rachel the following week, in exchange for another 7 years working for Laban.

Rachel is described as the younger more attractive sister, in contrast with Leah, who is described as having weak eyes. The bible doesn’t say how Leah must have felt watching her younger sister be chosen over her, but for Laban to resort to deceit to marry off Leah, makes me feel like Leah must not have suitors that were interested in her. What the bible does make clear though is that Jacob loved Rachel way more than he loved Leah, and that both Leah and God felt the pain of this rejection. I will dig into this more later but for now suffice it to know that God comforted Leah by blessing her with children compared to Rachel’s Barrenness.

Seeing Rachel in the Child in me:
14 years. That’s how much of Jacob’s time it took securing Rachel as his wife. Despite Jacob expressing his love for Rachel in both word and deed here is what the bible has to say.

When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or i’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am i God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Genesis 30:1-2

I am ashamed to say that I exhibited the same intense jealousy towards my attachment figure and even sometimes my own siblings concerning my own mother’s affections. The thing with jealousy is that it clouds the reality of things. Whenever my attachment figure would express affection towards her Pastor (aka Spiritual Mom), or I would feel they had something that me and her didn’t, my emotions would go through the roof. One time it also led me to almost seriously harming myself. Like Rachel I could not see the expressed love that my attachment figure had for me, and I instead drove her away with my need and jealousy. But Jacob stayed and loved Rachel, continuously, she never did anything that lessened his devotion to her.

Once, Leah’s son, maybe about 4 years old at the time brought his mother some
mandrakes. Rachel asked her for the mandrakes, and said “I will let you sleep with Jacob tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” Imagine! She knew the power and authority she had over her husband, that she could even dictate when he does or doesn’t sleep with his first wife, her own sister, Leah, then use that to her advantage.

Unfortunately, though Jacob loved Rachel endlessly and unwavering, Rachel died before allowing herself to experience Bible-verses-to-overcome-Jealousyand walk in that love, purely, and wholeheartedly. When God finally granted her request for children, after the first child, she petitioned God again for another son. While giving birth to the second son, she died, and in her last breath named that son Benoni (son of my sorrow). How sad, she had everything and yet died trying to attain what she already had because jealousy made her insecure. She realized too late that her quest for children only brought her sorrow.

I have brought on myself increasing amounts of pain seeking the perfect mother and the perfect friend. In the process I have lost people who mean a great deal to me. I have tried adamantly to gain them back because I felt like I was missing what they offered me. But i’m not.

I have the most amazing mom and group of friends. Show me someone with better friends than me and I will probably not believe you. All five of my closest friends are so unique, and so caring, funny, ambitious, strong/perseverant, that when I allow myself to think on the beauty that is all of them, I am overwhelmed. I think about the patience that they all exhibited towards me in the throes of my illness. When I would get hospitalized, without a doubt I could phone one to bring me clothes. When I was hurting they all were there in the best way they knew how from studying for exams by my hospital bed, to massaging me and providing laughter. When I allowed my reactions to my attachment figure to cause me to withdraw from them, they never held it against me because they understood. But now I know better and understand better and don’t desire to portray that level of selfishness again.

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For when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a (Wo)man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

By the Grace of God I did not die in my sorrow, and I have the opportunity to grow in giving love and experiencing love. I want to maximize on that opportunity.

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 1

**This is a transparent post, and like always I want to share because it is another way in which I recognize an evolution of sorts. I will divide it into two parts.**

Show me someone with BPD that does not have deep identity disturbances and emptiness. The concept of who I am is not even something I am able to ponder on for too long because feeling connected with myself is such a fleeting phenomenon.

Yesterday while on a prayer call, the preacher spoke about finding someone in the bible that resonates with us and learn from their life and walk with God. This resonated with me because this same week at Church a Pastor spoke on how we can’t even believe in the promises or directions of God because we really don’t know who we are in Him.

I thought about who resonates with me the most in the bible, and no one was coming up. The only person I thought of was Elijah because of his depression, but still his story and his life is not one that I relate too on a deeper level. So I gave up the search and resumed feeling very overwhelmed and just despondent towards life. That’s how I’ve been existing, just floating through. I don’t talk with friends as much, getting up is harder, smiling is difficult. I’m pretty sure if someone saw me on the train i’d look like a shell of a person, because that is how I feel.

Yet, in the midst of this I somehow “had a revelation” that I am sooo healed from my attachment figure and I can refollow her blog and her instagram. tumblr_lmg5pvNu5l1qzcy5co1_500While talking to a friend, I casually mentioned that I had done that, not really expecting a reaction because I assumed she would feel the same as me. And immediately she was like why would you do that. And I’m like “idk” and proceeded to move on with the conversation we were having. Then she rewinded it and said we can’t move on because I should not have done that.    images-11

 

*insert her long speech on how at this moment in time where so many things are at stake with classes and medical school, I can’t afford another breakdown, and all it would take is one “wrong” picture and I would crack, blah blah, blah.*

Our conversation was a lot more emotional and it ended with me somberly realizing that I did it because I just wanted to be close to her. I feel soo alone and I just wanted to feel close to her again even if just in my mind. My friend sympathized and we agreed that I could keep the blog but ex the instagram, because it was a risky chance.

*insert my stupidity*

 

I’m on my wordpress and she has a new blog up, yay! I read and enjoy and then decide, maybe she also has a new picture up on instagram (it’s public). Excited with the opportunity to see a fresh picture of her, I go on and I see a new box loading and I start smiling, eager to see what awaits, and am instead greeted with text. Now the alarm went off in my head not to read, but who listens to the alarms right….

In the text I was greeted with the news that she would be starting a show with her spiritual mother about their relationship as a parallel relationship to one of THE most praised spiritual mother and daughter relationship, Naomi and Ruth. For those who don’t know the story, a brief synopsis is Ruth loved her mother in law sooo much that even when their husbands died, Ruth sacrificed her hometown and life to follow and be apart of Naomi’s.

Without warning the floodgates behind my eyes burst open and I was on the phone with a friend confessing my actions and seeking guidance on my next series of actions because the self-defeating and self-damaging thoughts in my head were not healthy. It felt like “Rejection, Abandonment, Un-loved” became anvils that just fell upon my chest and heart.

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I was always jealous of their relationship, I mean after all, I did only spend the last two years hoping that she would see me as her daughter, and that she would want me.

My friend, though she was shocked at my stupidity at first with a “wait, what, why would you do that!” then helped me see that I have been feeling very overwhelmed and stressed and when that happens I use to turn to her, so though it caught her off guard, it makes sense why I would turn to my attachment figure in the only way I knew how.

After googling how to cope with feeling rejected, and un-loved, I came across this quote:

“Sometimes, you choose the one that doesn’t want to be chosen – the one that can’t (or won’t) choose you back.”

cant choose back

From this I was led to the story of Leah in the bible. Part two will pick up there….

To Be Continued….

Ashamed of my Inner Child

In therapy we are working on getting to know the child inside of me. 

This is a good sign because for the past 7 months with this therapist alone, we have solely been talking about my attachment figure.

After my attachment figure gave me the apology i’ve been hoping for, about her role in facilitating an attachment she wasn’t ready for, there has been a sense of closure that i’m grateful for. The closure however was for my adult self. It has helped me understand, and push forward even when I don’t feel like it. It helps me discipline myself when I feel urges to reach out to her or obsess over her because I not only know better now, but I also understand better.

Lately though as evident by my last post, the child part of me has been making things hard. Every morning, her sadness and confusion weighs me down, and what started out as only mornings is progressing throughout the day, and now even into the night. 

She only knows how to want one person to care for her and love her unconditionally. She is dependent on people to help her figure out what to do or what to live for. And as I, the adult, say no to her seeking that from our past attachment figure, she no longer rebels, but is just very sad. 

I am suppose to be the one caring for her and making her feel safe. This morning I tried to comfort her but I realize I couldn’t be sincere.

I am ashamed of her and I really resent her. I hate that she is so needy, I hate that she is so helpless. I feel like I don’t care what age she is, she needs to pull herself up and be strong, independent and powerful. When I comfort her, I feel all of this emotion inside that sums up in disgust. 

This shows me that I don’t think she’s worth loving unless someone else feels that she is worth loving. She doesn’t have any support in me. She is actually alone and unloved by the one person that matters, me. She deserves to feel depressed because of that, too bad her depression lives inside of me.

I Don’t Want to do This Anymore

I don’t want to do this anymore…..
I don’t want to look at pictures of myself and hate what I see because I feel i’m just not good enough for you to stay with me.
I don’t want to see you moving on and feel so low because I wasn’t valuable enough to be kept on the ride.
I don’t want to feel pain when I see you with your friends and family because I was just a temporary mistake that you mistakenly called sister, friend, daughter.
I don’t want to open my bible pretending that the words I read touch even the rim of the unwontedness and valuelessness that I feel.
I don’t want to search and find a power inside of me that will allow me to reject the rejector.
I don’t want to do any of those things because I want you.
I want to continue being excited to share with you important, silly, or even mundane news without the wake up call that, wait, we are no more.
I want to talk about the things I am proud of you for without feeling achy that it doesn’t matter.
I want to love you in a relationship with you, not love you by respecting your desire to be distant from me. 
I don’t want to know that sorry just isn’t enough for you to try with me anymore. 
I don’t want to do this anymore….
I don’t want to push past knowing that truly, I just am not enough for you to try with me anymore. 
I guess, between the lines of it all, I am really just saying that I don’t want to be strong anymore.