Joy of the Lord

I have been out of the country and blogging on my phone so I apologize in advance if I don’t include the verses and rather just reference them. 

I think it’s safe to say that 1 Samuel is my favorite book of the bible. No matter how many times I read it, when I feel like I need God the most, it’s the book I turn to. 

With that I was reading 1 Samuel chapter two and it starts with Hannah praising God and giving all of these thanks to Him. And in her praise she mentions in sum that those who were full, will be in want, and those who had need will be full. It is a theme that I have read multiple times in different places in the bible. 

Today I paused on it. It bothered me because I always only saw it in a vengeance sense. That God will strip people of their things. And it was said in such a way that it was a cause for rejoicing. Like “yes God! It’s their time to experience poverty and my time to be rich!” 

But God drew my attention to the first part of Hannah’s praise, “my heart rejoiceth in the Lord.” And I thought about what if what God is actually trying to convey is the reality that our circumstances, no matter what they may be, are fleeting. One day we can be full and the next we can be hungry. The message, though yes if we want, we can apply it to our enemies, we should apply it to ourselves. Lose the habit of worrying about outward things, and what happens to our enemies and focus instead on how to grow in God. 

God wanted ME to know about ME that whether I am full or in need, let my heart rejoice in Him. 

And as many of you know, I struggle a lot with mental health, but we all experience highs and lows so what God shared with me can apply to everyone. And God just reached into my heart and held it and said, “I remember when this first happened you were so happy and you had so much energy and light, and I loved it. But now that it is seemingly gone, don’t focus on how to change the circumstance to get that happiness back. No. Focus on me to get joy. Joy so that no matter what changes happen in your life, your heart can still rejoice, you can still have my light.” 

I want joy. I need joy. May the joy of the Lord be my strength. 

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. 

No Title

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. 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am sad.
I am sad because I feel hopeless and defeated.
I feel hopeless and defeated because I don’t know how to continue with Jupiter.

Jupiter is my current coworker who I feel the same unhealthy attachment towards, as I have Artemis, and all the ones before her. My friends joke that I should stop leaving my house because clearly I have a radar that senses these people and that’s how I always manage to find them. But that’s besides the point.

I spoke to my therapist this week about how I just want to pull away from Jupiter completely because I am terrified of her hurting me one day. Lately, as my want for her has grown, I have found it harder to interact with her. I second guess everything I’m doing, and everything I say. I am so afraid of doing or saying something that may be unhealthy. The last time we were together we spent the first 15min in silence because I just didn’t know what to do. We’ve been on vacation for over a week and at the start of the break, I deleted her contact information from my phone so that I could not contact her at all. It’s the holidays and I felt like if I contact her then I would be ruining the holidays for her. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. Maybe because I always think so lowly of myself that I always fear that my presence is a contamination.

As school is about to open, and we are about to go back to work, I have been having dreams about us. Us being in the classroom, and her ignoring me, and me breaking down crying. Of course in reality we are perfectly fine on her end. She is not emotionally immature and so she is able to remember that I am real even after not seeing me or hearing from me in a week. Me on the other hand, I feel like I don’t even know who she is anymore.

I want her so much and I am ashamed. So what do I do when I know that following my heart will lead to an unhealthy abusive friendship, which will end with her leaving, but my brain doesn’t have the answer. I saw a Disney Short about the brain and the heart deciding where the man went. So if I have arrested my heart, and my brain is clueless, where can I go? I stay stuck.

If I just distance myself from her completely, after all she has shared with me, and the trust she has in me, she would feel hurt and betrayed. But if I stay and ruin it then I will feel rejected and abandoned.

God teach me how to be. I feel my insides shutting down. I am tired of hurting people, and I am tired of getting hurt. Teach me God how to get it right this time.

The Disney Short I was referring to!

Unanswered Texts

I don’t think you will meet anyone in the world who will say “I love it when someone does not respond to my texts.” Yea probably not. Everyone would love a response, and probably feels a bit ticked off when their messages go unresponded to. 

However, if you struggle with borderline personality disorder, then I am sure that you have found yourself in many a frenzys over an ignored text. Where most people get annoyed, we blow a lid and escalate a situation beyond what was necessary. 

Jupiter, my new attachment person, (read my past blogs to learn about that) is a horrible texter like Artemis. However, with growth comes new adjustments. I understand more and more how BPD is a disorder more than it is a sickness. Left untreated one can be very mentally ill as a result of the other mental illnesses that can arise as a result. However, when under control having BPD is essentially having a disordered personality. And if you ever studied psychology then you know after a certain point your personality is mostly fixed and few changes can occur. BUT again, like I have written about, the way your body naturally responds to something is your personality, that will take time to alter, but how you conciously choose to respond to your body’s feelings is under your control. That was the beauty of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

I wrote about how well I have been handling Jupiter’s poor texting habits. However, it’s been getting harder on an internal level. But for me I recognize the internal challenge as an opportunity to stretch myself and grow. 

Like with Artemis, waiting for the response was what did me over. The response would come, but i’d be so emotionally taxed that I’d still feel like she ignored me and I’d feel horribly rejected. So as I continue on with my relationship with Jupiter (which is a real and healthy friendship may I add) This morning I recognized depression signs in me related to her texting. But unlike with Artemis, I am not going to let my hypersensitivity ruin her trust in me, the comfort she finds in me, and her ability to see what she means to me. I love Artemis so much, and because of my bad reactions, I may have lost her forever. But I learned a lot about myself through my relationship with Artemis, and the least I can do to honor our relationship is by using what I learned to not hurt and scare another person out of my life. So I have been practicing holding both of my realities inside of me. Yes I feel all of these negative things, but continuously reminding myself that she did eventually respond, that she’s busy with a husband and two kids, that she has shown nothing but love and kindness to me so the chances of her secretly thinking bad stuff about me and responding late to make me suffer are slim to none, especially since she does not know I have BPD, or that her poor texting affects me. To her I am just a friend that she likes, and I like it that way. I’ve learned from Artemis, that someone in her position knowing about my BPD, will cause me to have unfair expectations of her, and wanting her to treat me more special, and take care of me in a way. It’s kind of like, “well now you know the affect you have on me, so fix your actions.” Yea, thats not ok. I respect and care about her too much to make that mistake. With Artemis I didn’t know better but now I do. 

So, sorry not sorry Kermit, my mind is not winning this battle! 😎

P.S. As I wrote about, it was Artemis birthday last week and I showed my love by staying far from her and not wishing her happy bday. And I showed love for me by continuing to not go on her pages.

Recognizing Growth

I feel like I forgot how to write because I have not written in so long. But hey, I miss my blog so I am going to just jump in.

With me not in school anymore I am now employed full time as an elementary school teacher in a charter school.

I work with one of my old attachment figures, Marigold. From the beginning Marigold and I established very strict boundaries that gave us assurance and safety regarding our interactions. As time goes on Marigold and I are slowly becoming as close as we once were, EXCEPT this time we are building a real, HEALTHY, friendship. It’s amazing the way my friendships flourish when a portion of my being is not attempting to create an impossible attachment with the other person.

With that being said though, I have written extensively about how my relationship with my last AF and how she is not currently in my life right now. So with her being unavailable, and with Marigold occupying a friend spot and not an attachment spot, guess what happened?

Exactly, the little girl in me quickly found someone new to occupy that attachment spot in her life and that is one of the other teachers at the school, Jupiter.

Now as anyone with BPD can guess, the last place you want your attachment problems to be manifesting itself is in your work place. But the things with these attachments is that they form quickly and you can’t help their formation. BUT you can help how you MANAGE it.

My therapist and I have been working extensively on managing this attachment. In addition to our meetings, we have phone calls, and I text her when I just literally forget all the right things I am supposed to be doing because I am so overwhelmed by all of the wrong desires.

This past week has been really difficult because I am beginning to simply feel maxed out emotionally. I am with this teacher Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, we are in the same room, she is an extremely nice and naturally close person, and so on top of all of the stress of just being a teacher, I am also every second of every day managing my raging emotions on the inside.

My attachment is growing, and this week, everyday everything triggered me. Seeing her laugh with someone else sent my insides on a frenzy. Now imagine how many friendships a genuinely nice, close person has, and the amounts of laughs or conversations she shares with them, on a daily basis. A lot. By Thursday after school I didn’t have the energy to make it to the bathroom to vent my emotions in tears or silent anger, so I went to Marigolds room and just collapsed on her floor in tears. It was just us two in there but while in there, we thought everyone had left, but two coworkers came in to ask us if we were heading out with them and saw me on the floor crying. Marigold just told them I was fine and we’d see them tomorrow. In a school where teachers quit as often as the rainfall from the stress and teachers breakdown all the time, they just probably assumed it was from work so no big deal.

This week I have had so much anger at Jupiter. Moments in the day i’d just be screaming in my head “I hate you, I hate you.” Did she do anything to deserve it? Nope. But I know by now, that I’m just feeling rejected because I am not her everything and the most special to her so it’s just the imagined rejection influencing such intense emotions in me.

BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS!!

Jupiter has ZERO IDEA that I feel any of the emotions that I do towards her. Both the intensely good and bad. We are friends, and I think because of who I am, people just tend to naturally open up to me quickly, so I have quickly become one of her confidants and she remarked how she’s surprised by how quickly she opened up to me because though she has a lot of surface level friendships not many extend beyond that level.

No one in the school, except Marigold, knows anything about my BPD because I have gotten so much better at living with it. Even through the intense emotions with Jupiter I have my coping mechanisms that I do that look normal to everyone else, but helpful for me. All my work gets done on time. I give my students my best when I am teaching them. Even Marigold who knows everything, on Thursday told me she had no idea that I was struggling so much this week because of how fine and upbeat I looked.

I learned something very important this week. I learned what it means to have problems. Everyone has problems, but I looked at my mental health as an inconvenience that keeps me from getting to my life where I can start experiencing the “normal” problems. So this week in session my therapist mentioned:

Therapist: how much better I am getting and how once I let go of my last attachment figure (she unfortunately still holds a big portion of me) I will be that much closer to experiencing freedom.

Me: You are only saying that because you don’t see how much I am struggling because I am internalizing a lot of it.

Therapist: Sweety, that’s exactly the point. You are not internalizing you are self regulating, taking care of your own self emotionally without external help.

Me: *eyes opens wide in realization*

Therapist: You are not yelling at people, hurting yourself, throwing tantrums frequently. Even in our relationship I feel less cautious around you and less worried for you.

Me: But how am I getting better when I am still forming these attachments

Therapist: Sweety, unfortunately that’s not really something that goes away. Whatever happened to make you this way, happened and so it is in your personality to form those attachments. That is not what is going to change, it is how you handle them that will, and the power that you allow them to have over you.

Me: oh so the attachments don’t go away, I just am growing to control them.

Therapist: yup

I am now looking forward to this week and everyday as an opportunity for growth. I am a normal person with problems that I am managing like everyone else. I am not sick, I have a vivid brain! It is my job to care for myself. Even if I did not have mental health issues, I would still have things that require me caring for myself.

I am setting up goals for this week and I look forward to checking back in next Sunday to discuss how I did with my goals.

GOALS:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures social media page only four times this week.
-She still occupies a significant portion of me in an unhealthy way. Because she is not present in my life she has become an imaginary comfort object for me. Seeing her pictures comforts me because I am imagining her hugging me when I’m down. Talking to me when I am angry. She is not a person to me, but an object and the day has to come when I have to stop using people as objects for my sanity. She is a beautiful, loving, inspiring, extra, funny person and I love her enormously. I want to love her for her not for me. And also, if I can get myself to the point where I stop believing that she is capable of being an object then it will make it easier to also not let that belief flourish with other people. Because she tried everything to be what I wanted her to be and couldn’t because it’s impossible. I need to learn that, and reducing the frequency with which I use her images as comfort blankets, forces me to replace those moments with moments of me comforting myself.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-This may seem unhealthy because it is not how natural friendships develop but this is not meant to be a long term habit. The purpose behind me doing this is that I have been on the lookout for “natural” ways to interact with her and thinking of “natural” conversations to have with her. Instead, I want to improve my ability to be content with where we are now instead of planning on how to create a closer friendship with her. I will instead be putting my attention on my work and not on her. Basically this goal is about learning how to shift my focus at WORK from her to THE WORK. LOL!

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– Again this goal is about easing up on the habit of only caring and focusing on one person and instead learning how to actively care and attach to a variety of people with a variety of depth to each attachment.

This was a super long post. When I created this blog it was for me and I never expected anyone to read it. I have gained some followers along the way and I just wanted to say that I appreciate you reading and I hope that me talking through some of the things I have learned and am learning can also help you!

Enjoy your Sunday!!

Recognizing Your Worth

It has been so long since I have blogged or journaled but I feel very compelled to write this post. 

Yesterday while on the bus I recognized that I was doing something that I have probably been doing all of my life. When someone does something to me I always daydream about someone else that I care about defending me and making it clear how much I am worth and showing me and the person who wronged me that I am valuable. 

In the midst of doing this yesterday I realized that in real life I then hold the defender of me to the expectations I have of them in my head. Which basically means that I begin to align my sense of worth with how that person treats me in real life. In my head they are the magnificent people that love me and think I am so special and worth loving. But in real life whenever I feel a slight deviation from that narrative because lets say they just said “good morning” instead of “good morning honey” my insides break. I begin to feel so dejected, like overnight they sensed a decrease in my value and by tomorrow I will be worthless to them. 

What if I became my owb defender? I mean it’s funny because I an actually the one writing the scripts in my head. Instead of making someone else the star in my own life, what if I wrote the script with me as the one with power over me. I think I will see a big change in my life and in my emotional stability. But also in the quality of my relationships. I can get rid of the unfounded expectations and the internal secret dissappointments that eventually blow up and out of me leaving the people in my path so confused as to when they ever made me feel as demoted as I do. 

I don’t know how to gain that level of agency for myself YET, but I will learn. 

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.