This so describes me totally. When I’m at home, I don’t need that face, for there is no one to look at me, except for my cat Mittens. All those feelings that are roiling around inside of me are there for no one to see.
When it is time to go out, I take the face out of the jar, and wear that one over my real one. No one then can see the pain, anger, sadness, sometimes rage, and fear, that I feel but are not visible.
What if someone saw the real face? Would they go running, scared? I think I would. When it’s in the jar, I only look in the mirror to brush my hair. I don’t even want me to see that face.
It would make me very, very sad, but then, I’m already sad.
I would like to tell you I had an emotional week. I wanted to get mad at everyone, due to my forgetting to schedule wheelchair transportation for an appointment Wednesday morning. I assumed they were picking me up at 10:15, for an 11:00 appointment.
At 10:00, I started questioning whether I had scheduled the transportation, and finally called to see if they had me on the schedule that day. They did not. First, I wanted to blow up at them (Really??). Then, I called my therapist to cancel the appointment, why, and asked that she called me back. I wanted to keep calling her, until she answered the phone and I could vent my anger and frustration (Why??).
When she finally called me back, I explained what happened and she asked if I would like to reschedule (Ya think??). We made another appointment, and then I wanted to vent at her again, because the appointment was not for another two weeks (??).
After hanging up the phone, I sat here and I realized that the person I was really angry at was myself. I had screwed up, forgot to schedule transportation, and I missed my appointment. Did I really expect her to rearrange her entire schedule, to get me in earlier? No.
I have MS. I have mild cognitive impairment and some memory loss. I know this, and I know that if I don’t put extra reminders in place, I may very well forget something.
I wanted to blame my aide, as every time she arrives, she usually takes out my planner, checks for any appointments that she hasn’t already written on the (very) large, dry erase calendar, that hangs on the wall above my wheelchair desk. She asks if I have transportation. I call and make arrangements. Once I’ve done that, I put a check mark next to the appointment in my planner. But not this week. I don’t think I gave a single thought to that appointment, and usually I never forget that particular appointment.
But who should I be mad at about it? No one. Not even myself. Everyone makes mistakes, and I can’t be mad because I made a mistake.
So I played Sudoku and then watched more episodes of “The Fosters.” Really like this show. Whatever did I watch before Netflix??
I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago, and have been taking pretty much the same medications over this time. I have BPD. I know I have it. I recognize the symptoms when they get worse. I wouldn’t dream of stopping them, for fear of the consequences.
It has long been thought that BPD was caused by abuse as a child, or some other horrendous trauma experienced when young. It has been brought to my attention that in order for someone to develop BPD, there has to be one or both parents who suffer from this disorder. This disorder is passed on genetically.
Without the genetics, BPD does not occur, despite popular belief, because of chronic abuse as a child, alone. The gene must also be present. I realized a couple years ago, that my mother must have had the same disorder. Based on the way that she treated me, along with the sexual abuse from my father, I developed BPD.
There has to be at least five symptoms a person must have to be diagnosed with this disorder.
Unstable or poorly regulated emotional responses – anger, anxiety, depression
Inappropriate intense anger that is difficult to control
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, and
behaviors from most people, impaired social reasoning under stress
Frantic acts due to chronic fear of abandonment, very intense and unstable relationships
To be diagnosed with BPD, five of these nine symptoms must be present. When I finally learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment. Now, things that I feel or do, I understand why. I suffer from eight of these nine symptoms.
I understand why I will do almost anything to prevent what I perceive as abandonment. I understand why all of my relationships were either inappropriate, extremely intense and unstable. I understand why I have a great deal of new debt, that has occurred after the agreement with the debt management program, that I would not apply for anymore credit cards, and this new debt is due to three new credit cards. I understand why I became a chronic alcoholic (Nearly 17 years sober now). I understand the cuts on my arms, the overdoses, and all the threats of suicide, and all of the psychiatric hospitalizations.
I understand now, why I am me, and why I still do many of the things on that list. Do you now understand me?