This is a book for those diagnosed with BPD to give them knowledge and hope.You can do it!
(In case anyone skipped Chapter 3 I am going to recap the last three paragraphs of that chapter here).
I’m not going to sugar coat anything. Healing takes place on several different planes at one time. It’s work. However, the work is well worth it in the long run. I told you experiences about my jobs. That is only one plane of existence I live on. I have the plane where I was married. Another plane of my existence is when I became a mother. Still another plane of my existence was my education. The latter one still counts when I do independent study of my mental health condition as I put in the work to understand myself on a more profound and deeper level.
It is hard work. Complete honesty is a necessity for healing. Another thing I have been learning these past two and a half years is looking at the facts and not the feelings. I am continuing to learn how to this. This is not easy when I am in the middle of an emotional crisis.
If you are not willing to work hard on yourself, your thinking, with being completely honest to not only yourself but to those around you, and, if you refuse to give up the fear of judgment, letting other’s down, and failure and are unwilling to let the anger and the idea no one understands you go, then you need to close this book now and open it when you are ready to do those things.
When writing my account of what led to my dismissal at my last job, I did my best to write the facts of what occurred. I used the word “perception” and I said how I felt. The facts are always separate from my own perception of how others are acting and how they feel. We base our perceptions of others from our own experiences both with the individual involved, what we have seen in others, and memories of what we have experienced in the past.
Throughout the whole time of the occurrence with my place of employment I only truly knew how one person felt, what one person thought, and what one person witnessed: me. It is very important to remember even with our own circumstances there are three sides to every story when it concerns interactions with another individual. One of my biggest pet peeves with human beings is when someone tells me how I feel instead of affording me the opportunity to relay my own feelings and have them listen with an open mind and validate that I am telling the truth. If I expect another to do this with me, however, I need to live by that rule myself to be able to respect myself which is part of self-love.
If I am completely honest, however, with my account of what occurred that day at times I didn’t even know how I felt. I know I was in a tremendous amount of emotional pain. My perception was tainted since I was in an emotional flashback. I was reacting off the feelings of a little girl that was treated horribly and not a grown woman looking at the situation and reacting in a mature manner. That is the reality when one is in a flashback.
Every other person I was interacting with the couple days in which the events unfolded couldn’t possibly understand exactly what was happening to me inside. This is especially true if they felt I didn’t have the condition to begin with. There still is a stigma about mental health conditions out there and it’s inbred even in the nicest of people. The truth of the matter, from my own experiences, is that the majority of people just do not care and cannot be bothered to understand it. This is a just statement because people are all busy working on the planes of their own world’s rather than that of ours. It is OK. Our worlds met on one plane of existence and that was the work plane.
It’s a reality. I cannot make one single person understand. I cannot force myself on others like that. What happened in those moments at my place of employment was a tremendous amount of negative energies thrown at people who quite frankly did not deserve it. They are not trained in the mental health field and my mental health is of no concern of theirs. They were not responsible for all the pain I felt inside. The big thing is, they don’t need to be around me and can remove themselves out of my life at any given point and time without question for any number of reasons. They didn’t even need to give me a reason to terminate my position as in the State of Connecticut there is a law stating our employment is at-will. They removed me out of their lives.
Remember I did state in the beginning we need to accept the removal of a person out of our lives for any number of reasons or else we will experience grave emotional pain. I didn’t come to this realization until the end of this year. Now that I know this fact, I can try to hone the concept and make it a part of me. If I live this concept with the removal of others from my life maybe the pain will be less and less because I know it. Knowledge is power and I am a Warrior. That feeling of rejection now can be put in it’s place.
I said I wrote over 200 pages of things that happened throughout the year alone with regards to the occurrence of what led up to my dismissal. One of the things was a statement from their lawyer that was highly prejudicial about a person with a mental health condition. I had a professional look at it and he communicated to me it fell under the category of discrimination against a person with a mental health condition.
As a matter of fact it was an underlying theme throughout that year. I had to make a decision. And I did not pursue it because of my mental health condition. I needed to keep my sanity or what little I had left. Remember I said that there are three professionals we need to work closely with to create a plan of treatment to begin to heal? Our PCP, our Psychiatrist, and our Therapist are the only people trained and qualified to suggest what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t. Most of what occurred fell under this category where persons in other fields of employment offered their opinions that were not asked for on what was going on in my life with my mental health.
An example I will use here. My husband was a great mason. He knew what he was doing and was trained by the best in the field. He was exceptional. However, he thought he was a psychiatrist, a doctor, a chef, and any other profession under any other name when it suited him. What it boiled down to was he was a mason. He was not qualified under the other given titles to give any advice. He sure loved to throw it out there.
I’ll turn this one on me. I laugh at myself for doing this. My daughter was born when I was 39 up until then I had zero experience with children. As a matter of fact I avoided them like the plague and wouldn’t even smile half the time at a child in a supermarket. I was 21 when I had my first miscarriage it emotionally hurt that much to where it had this negative effect on me. Most of my friends became parents did so when they were in their twenties. I loved to give my advice to them about their babies. How to clothe them, feed them, and any other thing a person can advise about raising children. Now, with my child I look back at all that advice I did give. I knew absolutely one hundred and ten percent nothing about raising a child. I must have annoyed my friends who would graciously smile and thank me for my advice. A couple or person that is childless lives a whole different lifestyle. It’s a whole different world when a child is born to a person than when they are childless. It is the same thing as a lawyer trying to be a psychiatrist or a mason trying to be a doctor. Those titles come with a completely new set of rules and are completely different worlds.
Let’s look at a different situation. In my faith, being a Catholic Christian I am taught that God reveals himself and his nature through His creation1. Furthermore, we are created in the image and likeness of Him. In essence our own true natures are also revealed in His creation. So through his creation I will chose the most beautiful of all his creations: Man. We are made up of a vast array of organ systems, then organs, then cells. All these things work together to sustain the life of the whole human.
We have cells in our blood stream called white blood cells and their main function is to destroy things that don’t belong in the human body: diseases. If something that is not consistent in the make up of our body the white blood cell attacks it. In our brains we have what is known as a neuron. These are brain cells designed to send and receive signals to and from different nerves in the body. What happens if a white blood cell try’s to do the job of the neuron? Or what would happen if the neuron tried to communicate to the white blood cell how to do its job knowing what they only know about communication.
Can the heart do the functions of the liver or the liver of the heart? Can the circulatory system do the function of the reproductive system? It’s physically impossible and if they tried, the human would either be very ill or not survive at all!
This is what we are doing when we are called to do one profession and try to tell another profession what to do. In essence, when a person with a mental health condition gets advice from their own psychiatrist and someone from another different field and profession directly contradicts what the psychiatrist tells the individual about their mental health condition it’s not going to work. Just like a white blood cell cannot tell the neuron how to act. Just like the brain can not function like the heart. Just like the circulatory system can not do the functions of the reproductive system.
If you are not honest with those around you, you cannot get the full treatment you need to conquer this diagnosis and come to a place inside of you to stop the hurt and pain. If you are not honest with others, too, it does show that you are not being completely honest with yourself.
My husband drank every day: six beers and numerous shots of hard alcohol. He developed liver disease. Alcoholism is nothing to laugh about and it’s not easy to quit drinking. I have first hand experience with this. Common sense says that that kind of drinking without eating right is what is causing his condition. Instead of telling the truth to his PCP about his alcohol intake he would simply say, “I’m not going to lie I only have a couple beers when I get home from work at night”. He came home not able to walk straight 90% of the time. A couple beers watching television a night is not going to have this effect on him. He was lying to himself about his alcoholism and for some reason had to tell himself this to make it OK to keep drinking the way he was. It was the addiction speaking that lie. In turn he would tell everyone this lie, including his PCP. His PCP has no choice to believe him and would state, “A couple of beers won’t do this”. If he told the truth the PCP would have been able to advise him with a better treatment plan to take care of his ailing liver. He was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in December 2018. He was still telling this lie. By the time his doctors realized he was drinking more it was too late. His body was rejecting all food that went into his stomach by then. He passed away six months later June 1, 2019. I would bet money if he were to be honest with himself from the beginning and his doctors and the took their advice, he still might have developed the cancer but maybe not this early and surely not at the advanced stage it was. He didn’t test for cancer in August of 2018. That is how fast his cancer spread.
The lies we tell ourselves are the worst lies for our health. Our PCP, Psychiatrist, and Therapist can give us suggestion after suggestion, however, it’s solely up to us to implement it into our lives. I am constantly battling the BPD so I can do what the doctor suggests. In the case of the warrior, they never stop practicing what their mentor has taught them. We cannot conquer anything if we do not know what we are fighting and why we are fighting. As a BPD Warrior, my own reasons for fighting is because I want to live life in peace and do what I am called to do. I want to see my daughter grow up and see my grandchildren if she chooses to have children. For all of us our reasons may be different. There is always a reason to live! We just need to look for it!