“I’m hiding from mirrors”

I have a personality disorder that was recently diagnosed. I think that the disorder effects how I react to situations and act in relationships. I still think that things like my family of origin, divorce and past love relationships have effected me, but I do wonder how much comes from the personality disorder.

I look back on how I was when I was in high school and I think of myself as a cold hearted, bitch. I had a lot of unresolved feelings and internal turmoil that left me unstable. The personality disorder offers some explanation.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). People who suffer with this disorder have difficulty changing their state of mind. The ability to go from a unhappy, sad state to a happy state seems like a foreign concept to them.

“Despising my image”

I struggled with unstable interpersonal relationships, a distorted self-image, self-harming behavior, suicidal thoughts, problems controlling anger, and an emptiness deep inside. I hated everything about myself.

“I’m hiding from mirrors
I’m frightened of sex
Despising my image
I’m enlightened and slightly obsessed…”

Hollywood Forever – K. Flay

I hid a lot of my feelings inside for fear of how my family would react. I reached out for help once and was given a guilt trip for having cut myself. Worse, the parent I had trusted and reached out to for help had turned me in to the parent that was trying to guilt me out of hating myself.

My trust compromised and fear of sharing caused me to hold in all of my feelings. I had no where to turn, no one to talk to and not even my friends offered me much help. It was years before I received proper mental health treatment.

“…I used to be so confident
So sober and awake, I never thought to act…”

Hollywood Forever – K. Flay

By the time I reached high school, I had to fake it. I pretended to be confident and together, meanwhile I was looking for a way out. I was looking to find freedom.

As a child, I never planned on getting married or having kids. Most girls in high school would talk about how they wanted to get married and be “stay-at-home” moms. The thought of having children and being confined to a home made me cringe.

I wanted freedom, I wanted to see the world. I wanted to get away from what I perceived to be a dysfunctional home life.

Escape

I got married when I was 21. My life plans I had made in high school go according to plan.

I had wanted to join the military, craved the discipline, and the self-worth it gave me. I had been in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corpse (JROTC) in high school and it had helped. I was apart of a large group of people that were friends and cared about me. They wanted me to succeed and do well in life.

I continued into Reserve Officers Training Corpse (ROTC) in college where that same feeling of comradery, caring, compashion, and hope was fostered. The environment was healthy for me and it offered the one thing I knew I wanted, freedom.

The notion of going into the military was quashed by my father, who had served in the Vietnam War. He said that the political climate and so many other things were not going to be good for me. The military would not be good for me and I might get sent off to war.

My heart was broken and I still craved freedom from my dysfunctional home life. I met someone on the internet and I married him.

I’m sure in some way I loved him. People with BPD have a tendency to idealize someone and then hate them with the same veracity. I don’t think that was the case with him. I think that I talked myself into thinking “he’s a good guy and he loves me enough”.

Two years into the relationship, we got a dog and he started exhibiting behaviors that were not acceptable to me (here we go with boundaries). I actually opened up to some friends who suggested I discuss my concerns with him. I did and he cried.

He cried so I stayed. I stayed and he didn’t change. He didn’t change, so I withdrew and allowed all of my negative feelings and behaviors to return.

Divorce

I read that some people fear leaving people with BPD, because of the extreme emotions that the sufferer has. My ex-husband decided to leave me long before the topic was ever broached. He had paid a lawyer to start the paperwork, but did not want to tell me because he was worried I might kill myself.

I broke my foot and he acted like he didn’t care. This raised a flag with a friend whom suggested I ask if he still wanted to be with me. When I asked he said, “no” and I responded with, “take me to the hospital.”

My foot had been broken for over 6 hours. It had a lump on the top and was black on the bottom. The pain was unbearable and I had already been struggling to keep my sanity together on a pill concoction that was making me feel insane.

The E.R. doctor was quick to diagnose that I had snapped a bone in my foot. The part where I asked him to politely commit me to the Psychiatric Ward was a little harder.

I had to tell him about my repressed feelings and that I was struggling to keep it together. I had made plans on killing myself, but hadn’t because I worried about who would care for my dog. But I had gotten so bad that I had made plans on how I was going to take him with me. Just drive off a cliff…

“…In a house on a cliff on the coast
Well I prayed to my god with a toast
Said a cheers to the reasons I’ve been at it all evening
All I wanted was to never get old
On a bed in a room with a key
I was reading a rag magazine
Said a cheers to the demons who’ve been with me all evening
All I wanted was to never be seen…”

Hollywood Forever – K. Flay

That was when I started to face my demons and that was the big step toward my recovery.

“..In the dark everything it looks better, whoa
Hollywood forever, Hollywood forever
In the dark I’m alive, I’m a legend, whoa
Hollywood forever, Hollywood forever…”

Hollywood Forever – K. Flay

In the dark, you can’t see anything. In the dark, you can be whatever you want to be. Just don’t let the darkness consume you.

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