Interview with Imi Lo
I loved that I had the opportunity to interview Imi! Check it out on Spotify or just click the link I’ve dropped here…👇🏻
So the podcast will resume 2/13/2023
New Year, New Expectations
One of the things I’ve definitely learned in life up to this point, is that the only person you can truly have expectations for is yourself. Expectations for the person with BPD can lead to many explosions and disappointments.
I’ve learned that to expect someone to behave in a way that is pleasing to you, well it’s just not realistic.
Having expectations for any other individual (one exception maybe being your children) can often leave you feeling gutted (empty) and miserable(depressed). Almost a quarter of a century ago I remember making some smart-ass comment to my mother… “Don’t have expectations and you won’t be let down.” Quite a feisty comment coming from the mouth of her teenage daughter.
I think she said something about cleaning up a mess her pup had made after the pup had torn up an entire roll of paper towels. My mom had been at work that day, and when she walked through the door, she said “I expected that you would see this mess, and take care of it!” She was right to say that, as she is my mom… but I also saw this particular situation as not my responsibility because it wasn’t my dog.
This back & forth of vocalizing our expectations actually led to me being thrown out of her house. I was 16. Thankfully, It didn’t leave me homeless, I lived with my dad & I was only there that Friday to visit for the weekend. Long story short, we eventually got over it and had a proper discussion about it.
Now I see the ways I could have handled myself more appropriately. However many, many lessons had to be learned in order for me to see the error in my ways and change my bitter & spiteful attitude. I really should have cleaned up the mess, not because it was her expectation, but because it was the right thing to do.
After all of those lessons, I have learned that I don’t try to teach my children to meet MY expectations. I show them the expectations I have for myself that will hopefully lead to me becoming a better human being, and I openly talk to them about choosing appropriate expectations for themselves as well.
You can always communicate your expectations for the people in your life, but it is still up to that individual to accept those expectations as their own or up to you to find out what expectations they may have already established as their own.
I’m starting this year off by being intentional and realistic with my personal expectations. I will not look to others to meet my expectations because they have their own. If I find myself expecting something from someone I will pull back and readjust my perspective to seek understanding rather than to be let down by unmet expectations. Happy New Year to my beautiful BPD warriors! Let’s expect it to be great!
Season 1: Episode 7
Link to listen to the podcast:
Hello and welcome to “The World in Black and White”My name is Michelle and I’m the narrator and creator of this podcast.
Vision for the podcast:
My vision for this podcast is that it will bring hope to all individuals that may be overwhelmed by the challenges mental illness can create.
Alright… Welcome back everyone, this is episode 7 of the first season of The World in Black & White! I am going to try and knock out 11 episodes total, for Season 1 before the start of 2023, so wish me luck!
This week’s topic is very near and dear to my heart, SELF-AWARENESS!
I don’t know the percentage of Borderlines that deal with this issue, but I am sure it is high.
If I were put on the spot to give 100% honesty on whether or not I liked something I would respond with a neutral type of response, still being unsure of what the appropriate answer might be for the given situation or I’d be worried about the response the person asking me the question is seeking. I’d probably just say “umm sure, it’s good”
For starters, I do not like to offend but the closer I steer towards being authentic and honest, the more I realize that there will be times where my wants and needs may not be the same as others, and that my opinions and beliefs may not match their beliefs.I just need to remind myself that this doesn’t make me offensive. (because In my head, offensive people aren’t well liked.) and because well, answering with an agreeable answer is less troublesome.
but I have found that the moments where I have abandoned my opinions, beliefs or values to be agreeable for someone or something are also the initial moments that create conflict in my life. I know now that I must redirect my responses towards honesty and steer clear of always being agreeable.
This amnesia of self may be one of the most destructive behavior patterns for PwBPD.
I have made a lot of progress by bringing my focus on being present, really tuning in, consistently seeking my inner voice, and presenting the truth to others about the thoughts that are awakened or my true feelings when situations needing my input may arise. //
I would also like to let listeners know of help that is available. Call one of these numbers or text them to find help. I pray you always find someone there to pull you up.
You can call or text 988.
Another helpline available through the National Alliance for Mental Illness is 800-950-6264 or text “HelpLine” to 62640
Are you able to make good decisions in a timely manner, or do you waver a bunch and say “well what do you want to do? Or what do you think we should do?”
I always thought this behavior pattern of mine to be a considerate personality trait. I was offering the decision to be made by someone else, to give them an opportunity to experience any level of joy out of that decision. But in doing so, I have lost the ability to make my own decisions based on what I truly think or believe. However; I think one of the only times we aren’t indecisive is when something causes us to “feel”. I am curious to find out if this need to “feel” happens because so many people with BPD actually function in their own lives in a numb and apathetic way.It appears we have discovered some kind of mental switch for autopilot.
However; this default in my brain to avoid making decisions for myself stems from my inability to see who I really am and what I really want. This also leaves me with the inability to be decisive. I rely on many other people to help me make good decisions. Why should I trust others and their decision-making over my own?
Well, I think that’s a good question!. I think I have stumbled upon something that will help us understand a little bit better why people with BPD have such a hard time with self awareness and understanding who they are, what they think ,and what their beliefs are//
BYTE of Insight:
Lately, I have been struggling a ton with not being able to see myself. I don’t mean I need to buy glasses or clean my bathroom mirror. I mean, I’ve noticed that I’m lacking in the area of self awareness and understanding my own identity. I am working at getting a better understanding of all the things that make me, me.
This may sound silly to some listeners but I do believe that this is a big issue for someone battling textbook BPD.
Not having the slightest clue of how others see you may directly berelated to that inability to see/know/or understand myself.
I bet if you have BPD you are bothered by this just as much as I am.
We have already learned that splitting occurs, as well as other unhealthy defense mechanisms when the PwBPD is threatened and that this happens on a subconscious level.
I am now constantly telling myself, there is no threat Michelle. Or reminding my brain that everything is ok, because I don’t want some unhealthy defense mechanism hijacking my mind or my behaviors.//
STUDY OVER SELF: Alright what I’m about to read is an abstract from a study
Mentalization and embodied selfhood in Borderline Personality Disorder – PMC (nih.gov)
ABSTRACT: Aberrations of self-experience are considered a core feature of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While prominent etiologic accounts of BPD, such as the mentalization based approach, appeal to the developmental constitution of self in early infant-caregiver environments, they often rely on a conception of self that is not explicitly articulated. Moreover, self-experience in BPD is often theorized at the level of narrative identity, thus minimizing the role of embodied experience. In this article, we present the hypothesis that disordered self and interpersonal functioning in BPD result, in part, from impairments in “embodied mentalization,” that manifest foundationally as alterations in minimal embodied selfhood, i.e. the first-person experience of being an individuated embodied subject. This account of BPD, which engages early intersubjective experiences has the potential to integrate phenomenological, developmental, and symptomatic findings in BPD, and is consistent with contemporary theories of brain function.
“disturbances in self and other mental representations are fundamental to borderline psychopathology” (p.514). Similarly, Kerr et al. (Kerr et al., 2015) calls for a “reconceptualization” of BPD as “a disorder of self and relationality” (p.346). Interpersonal symptoms can include confusion about self-other boundaries with identity diffusion, projection of difficult affects onto interaction partners. One person with BPD evokes a bodily experience of this confusion (italics added):
(So this is from one person and what they have said but it hit me 100%!)
When I’m around other people, I can feel their energy. I can feel whether they’re happy or unhappy. I can walk into a room and feel whether there’s tension in the air or if everyone is getting along… Having my own identity issues makes it even harder to be around certain people. I feel other people’s emotions so strongly that sometimes, I believe they are my own (Mae, 2017).
PLANS For Next Episode:
So I am thinking I will go further into this study and talk about it more on the next episode, one of the last things they talked about in the study is that while bpd
“ remains in current classification systems and can be reliably diagnosed. A considerable body of research on self and BPD has accrued, including a recent profusion and confluence of neuroscientific and socio psychological findings. These have generated supporting evidence for a supra-ordinate, functionally constituted entity of the self ranging over multiple, interacting levels from an unconscious, ‘core’ self, through to a reflective, phenotypic, ‘idiographic’ and relational self constituted by interpersonal and sociocultural experience.
I am listening to many people that have been diagnosed with BPD on reddit and other websites that focus on psychology or mental health. I ventured to one site called themighty.com and found an interesting article entitled “25 PEOPLE SHARE THE WORST SYMPTOMS OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER”
One of the responses from James said that his worst symptom was this…
“No sense of self. I went through so many majors in college and I am constantly second guessing myself. Do I really want to do this with my life? What about this instead? This looks better let’s do this. It’s tiring for myself and everyone around me. I’ll finally settle on something and then something better will come along and I jump ship.”(quote from Themighty.com)
I believe people that are highly sensitive to their environment look externally for the correct response, because we were the ones to keep environments from becoming too chaotic during important moments of development. We weren’t given appropriate space and time to figure out the things we like/dislike, or what we really feel. We were more than likely always told how to feel, or “to get over it!”
The challenge that I would like to put out for this week is to use TRUTH as much as possible, rely on yourself to make those decisions, stay present, focus on listening to yourself, make a list if you have too. But the challenge is to be honest about what you want, and what you need. And I think that is a good challenge for this week and I think it will pull you to a better place of SELF AWARENESS.
CLOSING: Thanks so much for tuning in… We have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them. I believe mental health is something we are overlooking on a massive scale, and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly.
…Until next time… Choose truth, goodness and love Closing:
How real is this statement in your life?
“The chronic emptiness and lack of identity. I am a ghost, stitched together with fragments of those I’ve known throughout my life. I pick apart their personality, and create this sort of ugly Frankenstein…I, even at the age of 26, still do not know who I am or what I like/dislike. There’s nothing more harrowing or isolating.” —(from themighty.com)PwBPD Yasmin A.
Bless you Yasmin. Thanks for sharing this. It touched my heart in a way I didn’t expect. I hope the following words help those that feel the same way.
I just want to share some positive thoughts about these “BPD things” we do flawlessly & without any real effort to do so.
Yes, we are fragmented in our emotions, we had to resort to this to survive, because we are highly sensitive to the emotions of others. We tend to absorb reactions, all of them (even the ones that haven’t happened yet.) Which means we often pick up the slightest differences in someone’s mood. We feel let down when others can’t do this for us as naturally as we do, and sadly we need it a lot.
Yes, We mirror in order to be received by our POI (person of interest) who was so intriguing, that they were able to awaken our curiosity. They in one way or another offered us a new & different approach to the world.
You allow yourself to absorb the parts of their personality that attracted you to them. During this process we may find some parts we don’t approve of or we may even attach too much value to the little bit of attractive personality they offered us. Either way, we tend to discard them because to love someone fully is painful. We understand that they don’t love like we do on a cellular level.
We will sabotage any relationship either to test the durability or to get them to move on.
Yes, we love big & we shower our POI with all the attention and love that we are just wanting to be reciprocated. A matched intensity.
We aren’t the bad monster in this world. We aren’t the “Frankenstein” unless you are consciously choosing to cycle through these emotional hurricanes without taking inventory of what it is you are actually seeking .
We were broken at times in our lives when we should have been protected. Our high sensitivities to people and situations was established on a subconscious level to protect us from further harm.
We are able to survive most any situation and get a long with any type of person.
We wear an emotional blanket that we have “stitched” together to act as an added layer of protection from the world that taught us early on that you need to be many things in order to make it out alive. (So we absorb various personality traits.)
You aren’t the monster. We have been trying to find the most useful personality, because at some point in our lives we received the message that ours wasn’t enough.
We have a lot of emotional sensitivities that allow us to persevere through intense & tough situations, not to mention doing all of this with an intensity and passion that can make other’s heads spin
We are highly perceptive to what the needs of others are, because we were conditioned to take care of the external & surrounding chaos at some point in life.
People that have been involved with a PwBPD would love to paint us as the monster, but maybe we are just mirroring & exposing all of the things they would like to remain hidden. We become what they aren’t pleased with and when that picture settles and the image comes through they “feel” that we have somehow changed them or abused them. No, in most every case we take the intentional beating and intentional abuse in order to protect others. I have learned, the toxicity I dish out happens after I have had my fill of disrespect or complete disregard of my thoughts or opinions. I honestly believe That those suffering from a brain disorder has taken the blame for too long.
I’m now no longer fighting the world. I’m fighting my brain for control. I will no longer let my innate and toxic defense mechanisms rule my life. They are kept in check by fiercely and persistently staying present.
Be a monster if you have to, but realize the war for you is internal.
(I’m now seeking me!) I’ve given every person I’ve ever met the opportunity to show me something good.
The better we are at seeking our authentic selves. The more equipped we arrive to the battle.
Life is a struggle, we were trying to live it by seeking comfort in a world that doesn’t understand how uncomfortable we are all making it. Thinking that we should seek comfort is one of the first lies we need to eradicate from our beliefs. Get uncomfortable, we aren’t monsters… We are fighters! Love you Yasmin, and anyone else that is fighting a battle!
Recipe:People Pleaser, Yields 1
After watching the above YouTube video the following thoughts emerged. As I continue on my journey of self acceptance and self love… I dig much deeper into my childhood and realize now that there are very specific details that helped make me into a “super people pleaser!”
Want to know how one becomes a “super people pleaser?” Here is a short list of things that I have personally identified as common things people may have experienced or endured, which increases the likelihood of becoming a super people pleaser.
Ingredient #1] stress on the mother during pregnancy. This is said to release more cortisol levels for the unborn child. (Some have also said that this can create emotional disregulation because the unborn child is receiving too much of that stress hormone in utero that it literally messes with the design of the brain.)
Ingredient #2] place him/her in an environment that is strict and also stingy with positivity.
My mom and dad… What a long story. First of all, bless their hearts. I know that they were doing their best! I can honestly say that now after being a parent now for over a decade, & looking back at my mistakes in parenting. It’s not an easy job. Anyone that says otherwise is in denial. Trust me!
Ingredient #3] praise the child only when they do exactly what you want them to do.
Growing up I was constantly told to listen. I grew up with a very authoritative dad & my mom was just enough of an authoritarian that whatever she demanded, we delivered. She made sure that we listen to her and that we weren’t allowed to have our own opinions on things like food or clothing, anything really. We were always told “you’ll take what you can get & like it.” A seriously dangerous mantra from my childhood, and I just realized this is the reason I have a hard time making decisions for myself now in my 38th year of life. Doing what I want to do seems like an action for royalty, not me. If you treat your children like peasants they will expect bread crumbs, but will settle for any piece of the crust when it is presented. It will not matter if it is their piece of the pie or not they just want more than crumbs. They want to believe that they are worth more than crumbs. This idea that they aren’t able to make decisions for themselves leaves them listening to others needs and wants while suppressing their own. Ignoring the voice that makes them unique and authentic. This idea that they are unable to access this voice and be heard has been ingrained into their brain as if to know that the voice/desire to have what they want is there, but it is out of order. The child continues through life looking to everyone else for the answers and listening to “these so called answers” even to their own demise. Because their core value or belief of who they are rests on the belief that “you are only a good kid if you do what you are told.”
Well that was enlightening. Illuminating for myself even.
2020 has been quite the ride. We have been diligently working on remodeling our home. We are nearing completion and have redone every room of the house. I will be posting photos soon of all the changes. I will be very happy to complete this huge project, it has been a difficult one.
Happy Holidays everyone! I’m praying for a peaceful 2021!
I’m looking at the “GREY”
More specifically, I chose to finally add “Grey’s Anatomy” to my list of things to do when the world stopped functioning normally and told all of us to stick it out inside of our homes (for an unspecified amount of time.) I knew this was a lofty goal to set… to complete this mega-series. I just had to do something.
Why had I waited so long to start watching GA? … Well, I asked myself this exact question just a day or so in to watching the show.
The series had started at the end of March, 2005. The cast is full of McDreamy’s (@PatrickDempsey) and McSteamy’s (@EricDane) and the line up of actresses are women you either want to ask to be your friend (@SandraOh) or emulate. (@EllenPompeo) they did amazing with casting.
I could have used this show in 2005, but during that time in my life, I am not sure that I would have appreciated it near as much as I do now at 38 years old. At that time, I was about to wrap up 4 years of active duty service at my final duty station, Ft.Benning, Georgia. Just finishing up my time as a war-seasoned E-4, Corporal. I was struggling a bit to find myself knowing that I was no longer the small-town girl I was when I entered the military. How had I lost myself so much during these 4 years away from home? Had I experienced too much independence, maybe? Is that even a thing, too much independence? Was it necessary for me to go through all of these things to lose her? The person I was told to be. (Sorry writing out loud.)
I wasn’t going back home or back to that small town. I had just gotten engaged and had been busy planning my wedding, which was quickly approaching in just a few months. I would sit for hours after work sewing on my wedding dress, pondering what the rest of my life as a soldier’s wife would be like? Truth! The idea of a wedding at this point petrified me. I did know that I wanted to hold onto that respectable soldier, and this was the next step. We managed to stay together for 4 years. He stayed in the Army and I moved back home. The call of the familiar was too loud for me to just ignore.
I created a fantasy future while absorbed in a different series. A series that involved Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda & Samantha. Yes, I was living out lifestyle fantasies with the girls from Sex in the City. I wanted to go live in New York City and have a sophisticated lifestyle comparable to theirs. Instead, what I opted for was marriage to that respectable soldier and a move to Ft. Bragg. I guess I did a few things to live like those gals and still do. I shop like all of them (*thrift stores) act confident like Samantha & write like Carrie ! 😂
I believe the real reason I didn’t cave to watching Grays Anatomy at that time, was I didn’t just do what was popular or on trend, I did what I wanted, when I wanted. The truth was, I had no idea what I was missing out on. This show is a dream come true for the person with BPD. (Borderline Personality Disorder) So many of the characters deal with trauma, had I watched this in 2005 it may have been too early in my life, it wouldn’t have resonated then the way it does now.
You can see two characters in particular display great growth throughout the show as their characters suffer major losses and heartbreak. Meredith Grey and Alex Karev are very relatable and you grow to cheer for their success despite whatever chaos they invite into their lives.
Thank you @ShondaRhimes for creating such a great series! Your talent is amazing and inspiring.
Just watched Season 10: Episode 14 this song came on and it just makes sense about changing the world. The only thing we have to do is start with OURSELVES.
This show was more than entertaining for me it was therapeutic and the cast became friends for me during the lockdown. I know I will watch it all over again because it made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me feel, which showed me life isn’t over. To end this little blog post this is a little quote that Meredith Grey’s mother would always say to her.
🎠 “The carousel never stops turning” – Ellis Grey
So pick your favorite seat and hang on! Have a great day and if you decide to watch Grey’s Anatomy let me know what you think. It was a 10/10 for me!
Once Upon a YouTube Binge
Mondays are typically my non-writing day. A day of so called “research” or rather a day of scrounging up a few edible bits to chew on for later use. My Monday looks similar to what a day of being stranded on a deserted island might look like to most.
The cast away (me) is left starving after surviving off a diet of pure coconut and decides not to eat another flake of the milky white insides of this deceiving nut. The castaway desperately seeks an alternate food source.
searching high and low for a bit more insight on BPD.
I wanted to find something more noteworthy than just a fact feeding video (the coconut).
Ok, that was only what I did today, I normally just live life on Mondays without scrounging for topics, but I was in the mood to do a little research today. It was a long day of trying to understand myself better. Looking for something that might spark my interest or provoke some deep form of thinking that I could translate into a relatable topic. I was just browsing through loads of videos on YouTube.
The only connection of all videos were of course those three little letters in the title; BPD. Not true, there were blatant similarities. One common similarity is the definition of borderline. People usually spout that off in every intro. Which is fantastic, because if I had not been diagnosed with this disorder, I would not know of its existence.
Most people making these videos give great information and are armed with many facts that address BPD. I have learned the differences between a classic borderline and a quiet borderline. I have learned that psychiatrists are more inclined to deny treatment of borderline patients. I have learned that I have a lot of similar mannerisms to other exposed “virtual” borderlines. I also found myself sucked into the rabbit hole and also having a faint desire to meet with these people and help them and in turn learn more about myself.
A doctor and professor from Yale University speaking on one of the videos I managed to come across today explained a great example of what the difference is between someone living with BPD compared to someone that isn’t.
the solid black line represents the working mind of a non-bpd brain. _________________________________________________
the line below represents the working mind of an individual with BPD.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I think this is a great example. It is actually a viable and simple way that may be helpful to others when they try to imagine the differences. I can still work normally most of the time, it just requires a little bit more work and mindfulness when I hit the moments that I am not a solid line.
I am letting a few other things that I found marinate until the podcast on Wednesday. I appreciate you taking the time to read the words I feel compelled to share. Have a wonderful day.
side note- Technically it is Tuesday, so I am not posting on Monday.
#SelfhelpSaturday (4 – 14 – 18)
The above picture shows the color I chose for the living room. (Acier Gray: Sherwin Williams )
Late Friday night, I finished up painting two walls of my living room a beautiful matte gray. The paint has a very neat and clean finish. I chose a matte finish as it seems to be so pleasing and easy on the eyes. Painting two walls doesn’t sound like much work to most who will read this blog… or may not even sound like much of an accomplishment. After moving the furniture, cleaning the walls, patching any screw or nail holes and taping off the trim/crown molding, I felt like I had completed a pretty intense project. All while keeping a 3 year old, occupied. Of course she had to help mommy paint the walls. She really did most of the painting, I just trailed behind her and spread all the globs out. LOL! My goodness, what I wouldn’t give for her level of energy again.
I was just looking up my color choice and found that there is a shade called : Mindful Gray. That will be my next paint choice, maybe for the hallway. Here it is pictured below.
I wrote about procrastination and a few methods that can help everyone to not put off projects until the last minute. Rather, get started on those projects by diving in. Stop putting things off. Painting my living room was one of the projects I had been putting off. It was the fault of my thoughts, obviously. I had tossed around all the work that would be required to complete said project, and those thoughts bouncing around in my mind kept me from just diving in.
The beauty into diving into any project you may be avoiding, is of course that initial feeling of accomplishment once you complete it. It also provides more energy within to tackle other things you have been avoiding. It has a way of propelling us forward to complete tasks we once felt would be too much work. Just being mindful about my attitude towards projects makes me aware of the priority of the task. I have found if a task is mundane or redundant I will put it off until it absolutely has to be done. I am hoping to change my attitude about these tasks. If I am successful, dishes and laundry should be mostly done everyday. LOL!
I know that I am not alone in my attitude with procrastination and the good feelings it can provide us after we have invested the hard-work required.
We had a ball tournament for my son this weekend and it was blistery cold. The wind blowing at least 20-25 mph. I nearly froze. They ended up with the 2nd place title after losing the 2nd game on Saturday, then playing numerous games on Sunday (back to back) to get back to the championship game. I know that my son was tuckered out. He fell asleep just as soon as he had some good food in his tummy.
On Saturday, after he had played a couple games we all sat down to eat a meal at a wonderful restaurant here in Oklahoma called, La Baguette. The food is always amazing, and they ran out of our choice desserts before we were ready to order them. We still found some delicious tasty treats to cure our sweet tooth.
I noticed that my son was being very quiet. He is a normally very calm and quiet individual regardless and maybe this quiet is only noticeable to his mother. At any rate, we started talking because I wanted to know what was on his mind. He told me that he didn’t really want to play baseball anymore. This actually wasn’t true once we talked it all out. He was almost ready to make a decision based on how he was feeling. He liked baseball. The truth was he wasn’t too happy about a few things that happened with his performance and the reaction he received from his coaches. I was able to talk him through it. If I had not been mindful of his behavior, had I not been there to just listen to him and ask questions and use methods that I personally have to use he may not have understood what he was going through and could have performed poorly on Sunday. His perception of the game would have been different and he may have felt that he was being forced to play. I could see a remarkable difference in his performance on Sunday and I am proud of my son to see how sometimes feelings can get in the way, and it is helpful to talk about those feelings, to be heard, and to have those feelings validated. I am so thankful for my babies and hope to continue working on myself so that I am walking proof that any one of us can overcome obstacles. The small ones, the big ones, the surprise ones. I am helping myself today by staying focused on the little people that hold a huge place in my heart.
Have a great day!
You must be logged in to post a comment.