This is a book for those diagnosed with BPD to give them knowledge and hope.You can do it!
In the beginning of the healing process of the BPD Warrior, it is best to focus on the inside of us. If you have a family, however, that must be taken into consideration as our children are living our lives. To be honest my child is the reason why I stay focused on my healing. If this condition does have hereditary traits I do not want my daughter to ever struggle like I. Her brain is still growing. Mine is not. To keep my child with me I had to change my reactive state or risk having her taken away from me. This is a fact.
I could not bare another loss that huge in my life. I honestly do not know what that would do to me. One would say that this too is a reason I am totally honest with people around me: those involved directly and indirectly in my care plan. If I couldn’t be an entertainer all I ever wanted to do in life was be a mommy and a wife. I lost two other children and my daughter was born dead. The doctors resuscitated her and saved her life. No matter the circumstances of how my daughter was conceived she is God’s gift. I have a second chance at life. My daughter has a chance at life. As a parent, it is my responsibility to give her what she needs to survive life after me.
If you do not have children, it is best to get your care plan and healing started now. This way when you do decide to have a family, you are in a place that is healthier to be able to help your family survive and thrive. The family unit has severely declined in America. It is my opinion this is one of the reasons we do have so much confusion in our youth today. I will discuss this later in the last part of my book as to the reasons I feel this way.
A positive view about the human race is that we have the natural inclination to be healers, nurturers, fixers, and helpers of others. With a BPD patient, we too, regardless of how it looks on the outside, have huge hearts. Part of our inner turmoil is we lack the necessary tools to be able to do any of those things for others as we need to be the healer, nurturer, fixer, and helper of ourselves. For me, I’ve spent too much time looking to others to fix this for me. I latched on and settled for what love I could get my hands on. There was no one to communicate there is a difference between love for a moment as opposed to love for a life time.
I did have positive relationships to view outside of my immediate family growing up in aunts and uncles, however, I did not live with them long enough to be able to witness what love truly was. I grew up thinking that all families parents got intoxicated and it’s the woman’s job to put up with someone treating them badly when their husbands were drunk. I will further these statements in the chapters to come. Not everyone around me was like that however the immediate influences around me within arms reach were like that.
Keep in mind, I am in no way insinuating they were bad people. They were all living their lives in Their Worlds the best they knew how given the circumstances they were raised and grew up. Generational beginnings and experiences need to be taken into consideration here. I can go back multiple generations and probably find the same thing happening in the distant relatives and family trees. One of the things I do love about being a BPD Warrior is that we do have a chance to break that generational curse. Indeed it is a curse.
If we expect others to understand that we are not toxic people we need to give those who directly and indirectly involved in the role they played in our lives that have had a direct contribution to impacting us negatively the same consideration. This in no way implies that we place ourselves back into the same situation. It would be foolish for us to allow another to hurt us again like we have been. It means somewhere within the deepest depths of our hearts we need to understand those involved had influences as well whether it be in the family, within their own body with chemical or brain formation, or any other area that can influence a person to think it’s OK to treat others in heinous ways.
I do draw on the teachings of Paul in the Holy Bible for this because he said it so well. I will do my best to expand, again in part 3 of this book, on this concept:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. ~Ephesians 6:12
No matter what faith we hold, we have naturally instilled into us the concepts of right and wrong. For some of us it’s easier to listen to ourselves concerning this. For others, though, they have been so tainted and had influences so negative that their concept of this right and wrong that it’s almost impossible for them to understand deep in their hearts the impact they do have on themselves and others.
In my life there are two people very close to my heart that one definitely is not Christian, she is Wiccan, and the other has questions about faith. I respect them both very highly. They both know and practice right from wrong better than almost any Christian I have personally known. I wanted to show you how even though I do cite the passages from Christianity how this language of right and wrong is written in our hearts from birth. It has been handed down through the generations of Adam because of what occurred with the fall of man1. We need to tap into it and hone it so as we do not compromise our lives or the lives of those around us. Communication with this side of ourselves is a key.
To listen to this side of us we need to get to know ourselves. How we do that is addressed again in the last part of this book. People use different tools to do this. What works for me, again, may or may not work for you.
If a person diagnosed with BPD doesn’t give up all the anger and resentment towards others directly involved in harming them as children then the healing inside themselves cannot happen. Therefore forgiving not only others but also ourselves is a huge part of our healing process. One part of how to forgive is to realize what I have just stated to you about influences and what effects they have through generations.
Going within, no matter how selfish we feel, is necessary for healing, growth, and the ability to help others in our lives in the future. No matter, in the beginning, how selfish others perceive us to be, it must happen. Others in our lives will not understand why we are doing this. They will only outwardly see us pulling back. Focusing on Your World is imperative especially if you are involved in self loathing and harming behaviors such as cutting and attempted suicides.
The best example of this I can give is the fact that I placed a restraining order on someone I loved most in life and breaking ties because my own healing process was being hindered by a constant state of emotional flashbacks due to the abusive nature of that relationship rendering me useless to anyone else including my daughter:
I met my husband in 1991 and we married in 1996 and back then both my husband and I were drinkers. I stopped drinking and he continued throughout the marriage. I left him 13 years ago in 2006. I tried to help him, around 2013 in the winter, still legally married, when he became homeless and was staying at a place with no heat, water (any), or electricity. Indeed, my love for him was the same as when I married him.
He was an alcoholic and very abusive. He stayed on my couch and there was no romantic relationship at this time. It was not healthy to have him living with me and my daughter and I had to do what I had to do for my daughter’s mental health as well as my own. I kicked him out in in 2018. Ten months after I kicked him out and placed a restraining order on him, he was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer finding out the weekend of Christmas 2018 and passed away last year, June 1, 2019. The restraining order on him was up in February 2019 and I let it run out. I needed to be there for him while he was dying: an obligation I felt no matter what others told me.
Do I feel like the worst person in the world for this? Yes I do. Do I feel selfish? You bet you. I feel guilty and every feeling in the world that accompanies that guilt. I didn’t leave him so he could die. I left him so he could live. He developed a relationship with my little girl. Look at it for what it’s worth. I ripped them apart and hurt his heart and hers. I feel like a monster at times because I did this.
I had a very hard time trying to explain to my daughter that sometimes when a person we love won’t get the help they need it’s unhealthy to be around them. That if they won’t remove themselves from the negative situation, because this was my home and the roof over my daughter's head, sometimes we need to have help to separate them from us. I couldn’t control his drinking. It was very unloving of me to enable it further by letting him stay on my couch with no responsibilities of paying rent, getting food, or cleaning. He did his best. However, the abuse was so bad all the stuff he tried to do was overshadowed.
The last time he went into the hospital in May of 2018 I found a nip in his jacket pocket in the closet as he lay dying a few feet away. I had to ask his friends if they placed it there in memory for him. In my mind that was the only justifiable reason that nip was supposed to be in that pocket. I was enraged.
My need and want to help him when he was staying with us needed to be put aside for my own emotional well-being and that of my daughters mental and emotional maturity as well. He had his chance to be raised and was making his own choices. My daughter is being raised.
Do you see the point? No matter how I feel, I also need to forgive myself and show myself compassion because of the importance of the fact that my own health was declining as well. I am NOT my feelings. My daughter needs me. And I don’t care who thinks this is selfish to say; I needed me. How could I have even possibly helped anyone when I wasn’t taking care of myself? It is a disservice to my daughter or any other individual in my life if I fail at taking care of me.
This experience was one of the most agonizing dark hours in my life physically, mentally, and emotionally. I had people in my life to help me see it through and I helped myself. In my life now are not people who enable me. I created it that way. I have people who show me how to help myself or try thereof. I had to help my daughter see it through as well. This has not been a very good year for my emotions at all. It was an even worse year for my daughter. However, I have done my best to give her tools and those things she needs to be able to walk through the year with her head up and emotions in tact. Which means putting on my big girl pants when I had to.
If I were in the state of being as I was in my twenties, and I was still drinking, this one thing with my husband dying after I pushed him out of my life, would have spiraled me into another suicide attempt as I wasn’t good for anyone on this earth. However, since I haven’t been drinking and I’ve done the work on myself I am able to keep those feelings from spiraling me down into a dark hour where I would have imposed self-harm.
In conclusion I would like to reiterate: You are NOT your feelings. As a patient with BPD our feelings betray us. You are not defined as a person by this diagnosis either. You are defined as a human being with a heart and feelings. The fact those feelings are intense as they are does not make you a bad person. The experiences you have had, although you react off of what has happened, they are not what defines you either. The three most important persons in life for the BPD patient are the PCP, Psychiatrist, and Therapist. They are the only ones who can assist you with creating and maintaining a proper personal care plan. With the brain still in a growth period until the age of around 27 years there is hope and there are numerous studies that show DBT therapy works. There is HOPE since many who go through DBT are in remission and do not meet the criteria for having the medical condition. Knowledge is power. Focusing on self at first with the healing process is essential for healing and growth. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE A WARRIOR and WARRIORS CONQUER!
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Sometimes I have to have an out of body experience so to speak. No I’m not talking about the separation of spirit from my body. I have to separate the here and now from the then and past. Meaning I look at myself as a person outside of myself if that makes sense. I see a child who was neglected, abandoned, treated horribly, that witnessed things that are beyond comprehension in the United States today where we are supposed to be protected from these experiences. My heart bleeds for that little girl. In no way did she deserve the cards that were handed to her. She was an innocent little baby. She had no role in what occurred. I love her and have so much compassion for her. Indeed, I treat her as if she is my own. This is who I AM.
1. https://www.biblehub.com/nasb/genesis/3.htm in particular Genesis 3:5