Fighting BPD…

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!

Season 1 Episode 6

Title of Episode: BPD Examples & Strategies

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7MnjV95DqMYh03cV5SvSgE?si=KONG6VeWRM24fP3xrYM9Iw

Intro: 

         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 as a person attempts to navigate life in a positive and successful way.

        I want to also make listeners aware 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.

Announcements: 

There are no new announcements this week so I thought I’d share a fun and easy recipe. 

Happy “Everyone is eating Turkey Leftovers”Day!
My family has kept a lovely tradition of eating “Feast Sandwiches” on this day for the past couple of years… Find that recipe below! (Definitely not diet friendly) 

Take remaining ingredients from the    thanksgiving feast…

  • Shredded Turkey 
  • Stuffing 
  • Cranberry sauce or mild pepper jelly 
  • Brioche sliced bread 
  • Brie cheese (spreadable) 

Toast some French brioche bread, 

add jelly or cranberry sauce to toast, then cover with stuffing and turkey. Finally, top with Brie cheese crumbled *or try what I am this year and use the spreadable brie cheese for your top piece of toast, then place in preheated oven of 350* to warm up your “feast sandwiches” for about 10 minutes. 

If you don’t appreciate that incredible culinary treat you should consider giving your taste buds away, as you may not be using them correctly. (Humor-Defense Mechanism, just in case you don’t like the sandwich, you might still come back to hear bad jokes. 🙂 

Just saying! It’s an amazing f’n sandwich, sides may vary! 

Another helpline available through the National Alliance for Mental Illness is 800-950-6264 or text “HelpLine” to 62640

SPLITTING: 

      So today… The topic I’d like to focus on this week, is how to get a handle on splitting. I will discuss a Reddit thread I found that allows me to walk you through the experience of splitting.  I will try to explain how implementing better coping & self-awareness strategies will help the person with BPD to be better equipped in order to handle the emotional episodes that can be caused after splitting. And I will talk about some of the ways that those that are around people with this disorder can help create a better environment for all. 

  So we discovered just a few episodes before this one, that splitting occurs most often during times where the BPD feels that abandonment is about to occur or has occurred, that’s when it is most apparent. However; splitting occurs even when there is no threat of abandonment. Wow! Glad we created a narrow avenue for this defense mechanism to occur. (Humor/Sarcasm-most used defense mechanism) 

       I found a good example of splitting for those that are still unaware of how something small can end up being all that is required for someone or something to earn a label as “all bad” or “all good” . This labeling occurred after only a tiny bit of social interaction, which most borderlines generally crave.  (*Here is a little hint, we crave positive social interaction.)  

      So, since bringing this podcast into existence, I have given more intensity to my research time on Borderline Personality Disorder. This past time has been a ritual of mine since getting my diagnosis in 2017. Just so all of my listeners know… I am poor in the social media arena, meaning I don’t use a lot of social media platforms. I have my blog on WordPress, my podcast, and now Reddit. Washing my hands of most social media was a personal decision after realizing that having tiktok, facebook and instagram were just a huge time suck for me, but it wasn’t really good for my mental health. I do believe most social media platforms aren’t healthy for a person with BPD, but I will save that topic for another day. 

      I stumbled onto Reddit again a couple of weeks ago, and my previous and only experience with reddit was super brief. If I were to give it a relationship status, it would have just been a one-night stand. (Humor- Defense Mechanism)Why so brief?

      I painted the whole site “bad” after a negative experience on a subreddit. Now, after becoming more knowledgeable about all the places one can go in the land of Reddit, I have reassigned it from “evil” to “good” being that it is a treasure trove of information for the person dealing with bpd and other people that have experienced being in relationships with individuals dealing with BPD. 

How did my initial experience with Reddit become a good example of splitting?  

Well, here is that story…  

My first experience with Reddit made me feel like it was being run by a bunch of political bots. I had made one comment, on a subreddit for Oklahoma. The comment I made to the original post wasn’t political, but the reaction I received was the prefabricated response served to the public from the media, during that time.   My comment was then given a political meaning, even though I wasn’t trying to divide or hurt anyone with my comment. What was the comment you might be asking now?

  I said,  “We all need to agree that EVERYONE matters.”  I think you know what might have happened after making that statement.  If you do understand, thanks for comprehending that I just don’t want to live in a place divided by politics and personal choice and all of that.

      Anyways, I had stuck my toe into the water of Reddit, and for me, it was an icy cold reception. So obviously, being blessed with BPD, I didn’t interact with that “evil” site for an entire year. (There’s Avoidance) 

     The first response I had received after one comment was all the evidence I needed to paint that site as evil for nearly a year.  I am happy to report that I must have grown some over this last year, because I decided to give Reddit another shot.

 Now everyone is caught up with how I currently view Reddit.  

      I entered the letters BPD in the subreddit search bar and immediately came across a few accounts to explore.  The first subreddit,  r/BorderlinePDisorder, was ok, and I felt good here, nothing too extreme.  Nothing stood out to me saying watch out this place is toxic. Or anything, you know how it works, you push forward and dig a little deeper.  One of the threads that led me to my next subreddit, was a post that said “It’s very BPD of us to have so many different bpd subreddits.That is all. LOL” It was here, that I discovered a subreddit called, r/BPDlovedones. I am sure there are more levels to this, but I stopped on this one, because it can help to prove my point about BPD and the ways we choose to label something as “safe=good” or “unsafe=EVIL”

OK, so we have established it is a safe place where I can now go to read.  I’ll  read, collect any information I deem useful,  about this disorder, then I’ll think about it  non-stop about what each memorable comment might actually mean that I encountered during my browsing and try to understand it from their perspective 

I am a little angry that there are 66,000 people on this subreddit that agree that  it is ok to sweep all BPD individuals into the same pile and speak as if BPD means “Bad People Daily”

      There needs to be a major discussion about all the things that have to occur for a person to be diagnosed with BPD.  So many of these things can be prevented or helped.  It takes a more compassionate society.  I don’t know if the United States could achieve that level of compassion.  

We expect someone with the disorder to just be better. 

We are talking about genetic coding, absent or neglectful parents, abusive or toxic environments that grew these individuals. All of these things were experienced during their most critical times of development.  

The thing that bothered me the most about this is the word LOVED. 

If you are loved, what is there left to vent about? 

Most of what I read on that subreddit thread, could be summed up like this… “Please be normal so my life can be more comfortable and people can see me as the good person I am because I have to deal with your crazy ass.” (HUMOR- Defense Mechanism)  

      They want the BPD to just be better and get with the program. So then this question popped into my head.  

Would you expect a war veteran that had suffered a brain injury due to flying shrapnel penetrating through their skull into their brain, to just have a few days of R&R then get right  back into the battle?  Would you expect them to just get up after putting a bandage on it at the combat support hospital and go back into battle, to start kicking ass again? Or would you say.  “Hey, Hey! What are you doing? Here… Hey, let me help you.” (Intellectualization – this is a Healthy Defense Mechanism) 

      We often send people with mental health bandages, yet  leaving the scars and the shrapnel still lodged inside the brain.  If you want your BPD loved one to get better, you might need to be prepared for what that mental surgery might require.  This isn’t a “hey let’s go to counseling a few times a week and pretend to be better” situation.  This is a legit brain disorder.  Be kind to them and show that you have a genuine desire to see them healthy & that will make it easier for them to pull the wall down to expose their vulnerable self.  

So the person dealing with the brain disorder is expected to cure themselves? The doctors can’t figure it out, so you should just do it yourself?  So everyone feels validated by blaming the BPD for not getting better.     

Would you expect a dog that has been abused for years to just wag its tail and be a good dog after a few meals and a good bath?  That dog is going to need serious rehabilitation and a consistent and loving caretaker in order to change the way it sees humans, and the dog brain is smaller than ours, but has the same major components that humans have.Dogs have the ability to remember and learn.  I think based off of what I have seen from society humans are generally  more kind to the animal, after someone has abused it.  We are less kind to humans that have suffered similar maltreatment. We think they should be capable of going out and doing whatever they need to do in order to survive.  But the underlying issue for the abused BPD isn’t that they don’t want to get better, the underlying issue is that their brain is not properly delivering the message that they need to get better,

So just like that poor dog has learned through its experiences, so has the BPD.

For people with BPD, splitting may be a way to manage conflicting emotions.

Experts do not fully understand the causes of BPD, but research points to several different potential causes

Years of trauma, genetic design created a few severe problems in the brain. Minor and major character flaws arise because of the fact too many or too little chemicals are being released for them. They don’t fully trust anyone and are always on high alert waiting for the shit to hit the fan.

Why? That is what their brain does… the past trauma has taught them not to trust and anytime that trauma is triggered they are overwhelmed with too many toxic chemicals in the brain 

The person with Borderline  that you just want to be normal, are trying to be normal, they are trying to live in a place full of critics and judgment, that offer no real compassion.  Major things that the BPD is highly sensitive to.   They are trying to maintain some sense of  normal every second of every day.   They have nothing in their command center working normally. But yet, since they are expected to just be normal, they play that role.  This is not their fault, it is in fact due to faulty wiring and miscommunication with the chemicals being released into the body.  Based on what I have read, people with BPD more than likely are dealing with high levels of cortisol being released into their body as well. 

 I recently had a saliva test done to check my hormone levels.  My body was producing 3 times the normal amount of CORTISOL right before bed.  My levels increase throughout the day… they are supposed to decrease.  The doctor advised that I take a supplement called Cortisolv and I have noticed a decrease in my anxiety during the day, and that has been a blessing.   

Byte of Insight:I found this study to be interesting… 

Defense mechanisms are mental operations that disguise or otherwise modify the content of the mind and/or the perception of reality.” Such psychological techniques aim to protect us from negative and difficult emotions, ideas and motives. The study explains that the working of these mechanisms is generally unconscious or unknown to the individual as it functions effectively only if the individual is ‘unaware of the deception’. However, given the distortions involved, the development of defense mechanisms may conflict with the existence of the individual’s view of internal or external reality.

Strategy 1:

      A meaningful attempt at seeing it from the other person’s point of view, is actually trying to feel that, and then you notice those emotions in yourself.  It’s not that you’re not capable of feeling those emotions. It’s usually that you have such a rush of emotions, it’s hard to identify which one trumps the other. So it’s just a whole bunch of different feelings all jumbled together.

Strategy 2: 

    Think about that I am expecting people to just accept me with all this stuff I have to deal with. I’m like you guys just accept this, because dammit it’s good!! HAHAHAHA! We have that idea sometimes about ourselves and then ok, so I am expecting this forgiveness for everything and then you only give somebody two chances to get it right. That has kind of helped me understand when I am splitting… I need to,not leave myself wide open without boundaries…but say “Hey is it this bad, or is it kind of ok? Is this something you can live with? Is this something that you can forgive?”  That forgiveness part is so huge. Even if you don’t do everything correctly or you miss it, and you labeled someone as really really  good and they turned out to be bad, it’s ok! Forgive yourself. If you messed up,,, you’re not all bad. Ok? I feel like that needs to be said.  Just because we mess up does not define us. 

Strategy 3:

One of the other strategies I like to do is really ground myself in moments and I like to anchor it to past events. There are moments that I do kind of like come to, like 100% fully in the moment and I am just like “OMG, look at how much time has passed!” You know?  & So I’ve kinda been trying to make those moments happen more frequently, so I can really start to take advantage of my time. Because I feel like the main thing this disorder does and nobody talks about this, is the absence of the person. They are literally in their heads so much that they can’t interact on this very physical realm. Ya know so… I think I have been working on bringing myself to those present moments a lot more. 

The last thing I wanted to say, is for those people that actually have a loved one that has bpd… Ya know we are so thankful for you, and the love and the understanding and the constant forgiveness you have to bestow upon a person with bpd is extraordinary. It is extraordinary, and I say that just based off of my own life mistakes and my own relationship mistakes and my own parenting mistakes. I could  just keep going on and on with the list, because we’re not perfect, no one is! However incredibly difficult it is to express that love and appreciation for you, for that loved one. We are grateful that you are in our lives…  And you know, we love you and we are thankful for that compassion and that understanding. 

             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 

Want more understanding about living with Borderline Personality Disorder…

A Brief Look at My Life with Borderline Personality Disorder | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health Myth Busters: Borderline Personality Disorder | NAMI

Challenge: keep a journal, it helps! 

Season 1 Episode 5

SPLITTING, Part II

Listen now on SPOTIFY
https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/pxPF5d853ub

Intro

         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 as a person attempts to navigate life in a positive and successful way. I hope to help others by teaching forgiveness & self-awareness.

          I want to also make listeners aware 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

Announcements: 

         I am very excited to share some news with you all about an exceptional individual that I have just recently booked to be my first guest on our podcast.  Her name is Imi Lo, she is an author, psychotherapist, and life coach.  I have only recently discovered her while doing research over Borderline Personality Disorder. She first caught my attention with a long essay she wrote called “Positive Traits of BPD | Therapy and Coaching BPD (eggshelltherapy.com) 

I am halfway through her audiobook, it is looking at Borderline as an emotional gift rather than a disorder. The title of that audiobook is “Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity: How to manage intense emotions as a highly sensitive person” You should definitely look her up and check out her other books and youtube videos.  She is for sure an impressive guest and we feel so blessed to have her scheduled as our 1st guest speaker on our podcast.  Thank you Imi Lo, I can’t wait to get your feedback on a few questions.  I will announce the date as soon as we have one confirmed.  

       I have recently reached out to become a partner with NAMI, or the National Alliance for Mental Illness, to establish our school campus as one that will show compassion for those dealing with mental illness.  I went to the NAMI website and requested that information and I am now awaiting details to get that going.  I will be an advocate for anyone dealing with mental health issues.    

Splitting Part 2:

      Last week, I began discussing splitting and what that might mean to any person, especially a person dealing with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.  This week, I will continue to dive into what defense mechanisms may look like in real life, and I will provide a few personal examples from my own life wherein splitting occurred. I will end with my thoughts on splitting and how it affects the BPD.. I did first want to acknowledge that splitting often occurs when the person dealing with BPD senses a relationship loss or that fear of abandonment.  Any relationship is important for the borderline.  Even the relationships that aren’t part of their daily life. Any event that activates the fear of abandonment for the person with BPD will trigger splitting.  

       First I want to look back at the results of my defense mechanism quiz I’ll take a closer look at the ones where I received a higher score.  If you listened to my previous episodes, I shared the results of my defense mechanism quiz, and the one I scored the highest on was regression, with 80. AHHHHHHH!  That surprised me…This one is categorized as a primitive defense mechanism. Coming in 2nd was repression at 40, and then tied for third, three ways are displacement, reaction formation, and compensation.   I was initially thinking that I used a lot of healthy defense mechanisms, like humor or assertiveness. It appears my subconscious has held onto more than a handful of not so healthy defense mechanisms to use as weapons in the moments where I feel threatened.

     Ok, so it sounds as though more times than not, I find myself in a state of regression, this happens when being confronted with a situation or person that doesn’t align with my expectations of that person or event.  The person I find that fails to meet my expectations the most… is me.  When I fail to meet my own expectations, I don’t focus on how to correct mistakes and get better.  I focus on how my inability to meet those expectations validates my feelings of being a failure.  I don’t know how true this is, but this might explain my constant need to find something I am good at.  During that process of “trying new things”  I will no doubt discover a lot of disappointment, especially when I haven’t given myself appropriate or realistic expectations for learning this new skill. An example of not setting realistic expectations for myself can be clearly seen by how I behaved and performed at a recent Co-Ed softball game.

       When I talked about my lack of skills with my husband after the game…and after he shook his head several times at me in disbelief, he calmly said “It is for fun, and if you aren’t having fun, you need to quit.”  He wasn’t wrong, but at the time… I felt he wanted me to quit.  That he didn’t understand all that was upsetting me and that he was being insensitive to me during my time of perceived failure.  Of course, after giving myself time to calm down, I could see that he didn’t say that he wanted me to quit.  I also know now that he did in fact just wanted me to have some fun, and that he was just looking out for my mental health.  

      It is crazy how different I see things when I am not looking at them through the eyes of emotional dysfunction.  I can clearly see now that I was asking my body to perform at a level I haven’t ever trained for and expecting this from a much older body, at 40 years old.  Why would I put those types of expectations on myself?  The simple answer: It is my desire to be pleasing.  Even though my wise mind or logical mind realizes that it is quite impossible to be pleasing at all times to everyone. Ok, so we have discussed regression along with a personal example.  I am sure there are a million other ways I express regression throughout my life, but this one was fresh and it explicitly shows my child-like response to an event where I didn’t perform to my expectations. 

     In 2nd place, repression with 40.  I know I repress a lot. I assume I do this a lot, basically because I don’t have a very good memory of my life. This defense mechanism is categorized as less primitive. 

The definition of repression is unconsciously keeping feelings, thoughts, or memories out of your awareness. It is done to protect ourselves from the anxiety or fear related to those memories. Because it’s done without our intention, the person has little control over the blocking of the memories. The blocked memories remain in our subconscious minds and continue to influence our feelings and behavior.

Repression is done without my control so if this happens at a score of 40 it means that my brain is doing this in some form or fashion to keep me feeling safe so i guess my brain is thinking it is helping me but in the long run I wish I could just remember stuff. 

      Now that I am more informed of the inner workings of my brain, realizing that my reactions are a direct result of a chemical response that occurs when I have been threatened with abandonment, I’m not just some girl living with a disorder. I choose to push my mental and emotional capacities to fight this disorder with the intent being on mindfulness and a hyper-focused awareness of my brain’s ability to express these natural and sometimes destructive responses.

 I have recognized my brain’s primitive ability to use maladaptive coping strategies or defense mechanisms automatically. My brain was reacting to events without consideration of the outcomes . I can see the error in the ways I have tried to handle relationship issues in the past.  I have moments now where I acknowledge my emotional response to an overwhelming event.  Instead of trying to control the situation or let my fear override my ability to just talk calmly and express my feelings.  I acknowledge that this response is not the response I want my body to produce.  I let the chemicals that are being dispersed by the command center (my brain) to course through my veins.  When my head finally returns to a more calm & clear headspace I try to address the “overwhelming event” that sent me into an emotional spiral.  When I can’t recall things now and have no working memory of it or feel overly emotional, I just say “My brain is being mean to me!” it is, and it is doing it without my permission.  So…Thanks chemicals

Tied for 3rd is compensation, reaction formation and displacement… to put them all in one mean little basket.  I tend to be an “asshole bully that will highlight my good qualities to hide my flaws” when pushed to my limits.  Compensation means I have a tendency to overcompensate in situations where I feel either unfamiliar or incompetent.  For reaction formation I will redirect attention to what I have done correctly, to divert attention from my mistakes. Lastly, displacement.  I really hate that I have a tendency to do this when I feel attacked or threatened, because this means I am dishing out to some poor undeserving soul. This defense mechanism makes me kind of sound like a bully.  Where you take out your emotional baggage on someone that is not as frightening as the one that made you feel threatened.  The situation that came to mind instantly was of a kid getting beat at home and then taking that rage out on the runt at school.  I don’t condone bullying, so I will have to be hypervigilant about this tendency. 

 I will end with my thoughts on splitting and how it affects the BPD, The BPD person is categorizing every action. Sorting people and events as they happen to the BPD.  The BPD compares the responses and interactions to their desired expectation for the person or event. The only acceptable reaction from a person in a relationship with the BPD is one that will not make the BPD look or feel unwanted or undesirable.  If this desired expectation isn’t met, one may still be categorized as ok or good, but if this behavior happens repetitively, where the involved person consistently doesn’t meet this expectation for the BPD or completely lets the BPD down or intentionally hurts the BPD.  I have no doubt that splitting will occur, the BPD will paint the perceived perpetrator as a pure negative or even an all evil individual, only capable of hating the person with BPD. The BPD is not in control when this delegation of evil occurs.  The splitting and painting black will continue to occur for the person dealing with BPD unless they try to logically understand what is taking place in the moment of emotional dysregulation. I can honestly tell you that this is a very very difficult thing to do.  I have found that once a person has been painted black, it is very difficult to remove the label the BPD has given them, but it is not impossible.  The person that they had previously adored, loved and placed on a pedestal can still become their loving partner once again, however it is a long and difficult journey for the person involved with a BPD.  

    First the person with BPD becomes avoidant of their feelings for their partner.  Then they must convince themselves that they were right to divert their trust, love and attention from that person.  They become foreign to their actual feelings for their partner because to stay and feel their true feelings about the emotional situation is too overwhelming for their brain to handle in the conscious, so it suppresses their feelings.  I am speaking honestly about how this has played out in my life over and over again and have not conducted any studies to make my statements move from my personal hypothesis to fact, but what I can assure you is that if the perceived perpetrator stays in the relationship long enough to prove their unconditional love and commitment to their partner the stronger the likelihood that the BPD can acknowledge their actual reality and start to make progress & to better understand the parts of their disorder they have no control over and focus more on the ones that they can control.  I now know that when I am upset with my partner because he didn’t say or do what I expected them to say or do to provide some sort of positive message to me is not anything to get overly emotional about or to log in the “bad bank” as evidence that they will eventually grow to hate you and leave you.   It happens first with splitting, painting them as bad, the BPD will cut off all feelings of emotion and discard the entire relationship.  

The constant labeling and categorizing isn’t fun for the BPD; it is something the brain is doing with expert level automaticity.  Once someone is painted black or compartmentalized as a “bad thing”  it is up to the BPD to remove that label and work at a realistic observation of the person.  It is very much due to the dichotomous thinking of the BPD and it is very hard to have lasting relationships and friendships while dealing with this type of brain disorder.  It makes those around you walk on eggshells especially if they are aware of your tendencies because they don’t want to be labeled as bad.  The irony in all of this is I really don’t judge people by their mistakes, I guess I only judge them by met or unmet expectations.  

Next week, we will talk about some of the strategies I have used to help me move beyond some of the hurdles splitting caused in my life, and hopefully some of those strategies will be of some use to you as well. 

Challenge for the week:Last week’s challenge was taking the defense mechanism quiz, that link is added in the description for easier access for listeners.  If you weren’t able to take that quiz last week, you should take it now.  It doesn’t take long and you might learn something about yourself.  The challenge for this week is to move outside of your comfort zone in at least one area of your life.  Challenge yourself to confront something you might be uncomfortable with, and see if the results you need to achieve are achieved. To give you some examples I will tell you a few things I have done lately that have pushed me outside of my comfort zone.  I went out with a group of friends that asked me to a group dinner spontaneously, we had an awesome time and became instant friends with that group.  I am assuming they feel the same way right now, but I did get a very warm and inviting feeling from each of them. That was out of the norm for me.  New people make me anxious.  The other things that I have decided to do that have pushed me out of my comfort zone is starting kickboxing and playing on a co-ed softball team with my husband and his co-workers.  What I have learned time and time again is that you can either catastrophize any event before it actually occurs or you can just give it your best and find out something interesting about your ability to move beyond that which is comfortable.   SO DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOUR SPIRIT THAT IS OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!  You may surprise yourself.     

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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! 

Want more understanding about living with Borderline Personality Disorder…

A Brief Look at My Life with Borderline Personality Disorder | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health Myth Busters: Borderline Personality Disorder | NAMI

“Parent-Child” Meet “Child-Parent”

An excerpt from one of my future books…

As I’m contemplating my day… this is what I heard the universe teaching me.


When a person decides to have and raise children, the parent usually experiences a bit of relief from child-rearing around 18ish. This may even occur much earlier, when the child hits the time of adolescence or perhaps even sooner, forced by environment.

When a child is then expected to raise a parent, there is no chance of relief! There will definitely not be any voluntary relief given from the parent to the child. The only relief will be the relief given when the child forces the parent away from their rearing! Like a good momma cat would at the first sign of the kitten taking care of themself. This interaction exhausts the responsible child “child-parent”and over time creates anger, resentment and bitterness. Everytime the parent “parent-child”literally & figuratively pulls up into the driveway, the child-parent begins to anticipate the need/s from the “parent-child”The body physically responds just as a new mother would respond if their angry, crying infant were laying down beside them. Quickly and with every intent on calming the baby’s need.

Every nerve of the nervous system tenses up on alert & with each pulse, a release of cortisol occurs followed by the intense anxiety. The “child-parent” having been trained to respond quickly to “parent-child’s” needs knows to react with haste. Fix the problem, stop the cries. “Parent-child” remains completely unaware of the burden and stress they are placing upon their own child. They may even say, “I thought you said that you would take care of me?” The parent-child is saying, “you can’t stop taking care of me, I still need to be taken care of.” The “child-parent” in absolute agony rips the “parent-child” from her breast and says “you are sucking the life out of me! Go take care of yourself!” That what she said as a child can by no means be held over her & that by some unspoken cosmic rule she would always be held responsible for your mishaps.

What contract did the “child-parent” unknowingly agree to? The “parent-child” knew exactly what they were doing and just didn’t care.

I think I hit that one on the nose!

“Oh The Places You Will Go… “

There is no journey, quite like the one we go on, when we decide to explore ourselves. ~M. Clonch

Deep thoughts!

There have been moments in my own life that would completely boggle the mind of most people. You see, I know that for a fact as I’m the one that has made these decisions and sometimes I’m even perplexed as to how I could have made such decisions. I have led my life with my feelings mostly in charge of the reigns. If it seemed that it could meet expected, desired results, then I would agree to do certain things. This led to some impulsive and downright selfish behaviors. Now, I’m sure most people would say they have done things in their own life that they aren’t proud of. If SHAME were a bed & breakfast I booked myself a room there and stayed inside the executive suite, brewing shame & self loathing for several days, & at the very worst of it, I’ve stayed months & months. I think the cleaning lady finally came along & kicked me out. 😂

I’m also the cleaning lady!

I am guilty of staying at this place several times, and still, I am guilty of revisiting the entrance to this place from time to time. When I maintain self-awareness, I can simply observe quickly of the mental place I have arrived and decide it’s not where I want to be. Understand that something should be learned in this moment and then simply move along further on the journey. One could also succumb to the alternative & just book an extended stay at the “I Hate Me Hotel” and wallow in self-hate. The option is always there, but you must realize the final decision is always YOURS.

We have all been here! (Side note: I’m lactose intolerant, so in my experience, ice cream just creates more problems. It doesn’t fix them.)

I choose to be in a state of constant motion, not so much a physical state of motion, but I keep my brain active. It’s best not to book a long stay at the “I Hate Me Hotel!” So if I find myself at the entrance & if you accidentally find yourself here, this is my advice; Step 1) realize you are about to check in to the worst place ever & then request an early checkout. Know that there will never be refunds, and it will cost you dearly if you choose to stay. Step 2) Take note of the path you took to get here, and avoid that path. It was only meant to be traveled once. There is no need to return.

“Oh! I’m the one driving this thing!”

Hopefully, by this point we are both envisioning the “I Hate Me Hotel” as this run down hotel, that kind of resembles a haunted house. It needs a lot of TLC, and everything about it is dark and uninviting. I’ve learned that this place physically exists in our minds. Personally, I know that my mind at times can be very dark, a self-deprecating place. This place can speak awful things about ya the entire duration of your stay, and one should never expect to have any fun while staying there.

Who booked this trip?

I’ve also discovered a lovely place, we will call this place “Peaceful Retreat” this can be a place of deep self- love, self-forgiveness, intense joy and appreciation, oh yeah and sarcasm. Yes, sarcasm- this is one of my most refined personality traits. It has to be included at the “Peaceful Retreat”!!!! 😂

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Throughout my personal journey and experience with these “places” we can stop in & stay, this I have learned. YOU must agree to stay there. No one is forcing you and no one can rescue you from it, except YOU! If you learn how to identify these internal points of interest, you can discover new routes that may help you avoid the traffic jam (depressive state) all together.

No GPS for personal journeys, sorry!

I have learned to recognize the places I travel regularly, my husband calls this my patterned behavior. In all my years, it seems the only routine I was sticking with was killing me on the inside. Now when I arrive at these “points of interest” I ask myself, “do I really want to stay here? And at such a high price?” Fully aware that if I choose to stay in that place it will tear me down internally first, then it will promote havoc externally. Knowing that this mental state only aims to tear me down or mentally wreck me, makes it much easier to now say… “umm no! Not today Satan! I don’t want to feel bad about who I am.”

There is much power in knowing who you are!

Ok, so what does this all mean? Discovering yourself and going on an internal journey. First off, the journey can take years, so pack a bag that will help you stay prepared for anything. You won’t realize all the difficult terrain you will come across. I suggest throwing in a few people that you know you can trust & that can help you along the way with some external insights & brutal honesty.

Enjoy the journey, you are the guide, you are the amusement, you are everything. { “I” am not in your journey, but “YOU R”! }~M.Clonch

You R!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope I have helped you recognize something about where you might currently be in your journey and that your next destination completely relies on you!

My journey has currently taken me in a direction that allows the stronger and more beautiful parts of who I am to shine, and this light helps me see more clearly of who I hope to become. pray that my journey is a long one! Check out Www.TheEmeraldGypsy.com to see my current point of interest. I’m loving it, I’m not the greatest at it yet, but I’m giving myself the opportunity to try to be. Love and peace to all! Stay Safe!

TheEmeraldGypsy.com

A N G E R

Responding like a stoic…

Is anger a good thing or a bad thing? Anger, when first recognized, is actually just simply a warning. A signal from your amygdala blasting throughout your brain, sounding an alarm via chemicals, that warns your body that something is not right. Message received as, “there is a present threat and there is a possibility to fight, flight, or freeze.” Anger can therefore be seen as a natural response to external stimuli. It is a response that was designed in humans to help protect us in perceived dangerous situations. After reading what Seneca wrote on Anger, I concluded that he deduced that anger wasn’t natural, that reasoning was natural. The truth is, it requires more brain function to engage the logical areas of the brain. Leaving me to believe, emotion is more natural than thought.

The emotional response happens automatically. This emotional part of our brains (amygdala) is so much more developed than the logical part of our brain, which is known as the prefrontal cortex. The emotional part of our brain has kept us alive, reacting to the world without much thought to consequences, other than one that is primal, “Stay alive!” While this much developed area of my brain has kept me alive, it has also assumed for far too long that it is in charge. I have now learned that the prefrontal cortex can be trained/stimulated so that it can show the amygdala whose boss. Seneca was then saying that allowing our emotional brain to just run rampant in our lives wouldn’t be natural. The natural thing, the “good thing” is to have what we call In DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, your wise mind always aware of what your amygdala and prefrontal cortex are doing. After studying stoicism and understanding that Cognitive Behavior Therapy was designed using stoicism. I can see how it’s philosophy is also helpful in The therapy I am currently receiving now. That this higher order thinking, being cognitively aware is the practice of stoicism. “through Stoic training, Aurelius was able to master his perceptions and see each obstacle as an opportunity to improve”(dailystoic.com) mastering our perceptions, added with the knowledge of how our minds naturally respond will help most manage anger.



You can find some exercises for the prefrontal cortex below…

https://heartmindonline.org/resources/10-exercises-for-your-prefrontal-cortex


If you have read any of my previous posts or know anything of Borderline Personality Disorder, becoming a stoic is changing the natural way in which my BPD brain will more than likely over respond to the difficult to digest external stimuli. Like black is to white, BPD is to stoicism. The way in which one chooses to respond to this automatic alarm system is what I believe answers our question today. When anger is triggered inside the mind, it is neither good nor bad. It is not decided until we respond.

Anger, shows duality, with the possibility of being both good and bad. Stoics believe that there is no good with anger. They were told to see that there is no good, because of all the “evil” it created. They want every stoic to believe that there is no good to be found in anger. I see the justifications of their message. A calm and sound mind, not writhing with “passions” can be controlled. One drowning in anger or other “passions” cannot. So then, if looking at it from this perspective, serenity isn’t the final goal, but rather control. Or does control get us to the place of serenity? I have had moments, in which I have given into passions of anger and it has kept me alive. So isn’t it necessary to be alive in order to be serene? Can we have one without the other?

I absolutely want to be a stoic sage someday, using this higher-order thinking to get through the most complicated of situations with clarity and peace of mind… I’m left perplexed at this particular question. While I understand what the stoic philosophers were trying to convey to their followers in those times, teaching people to seek serenity. Being calm and collected leads to logical thinking and sound decisions. I have also experienced anger on several levels. Ultimately, anger has ensured my existence during some pretty tough times. More recently, I find that I am just angry at myself and my mistakes and this anger has propelled me to find better ways to manage myself, my disorder, and my life. Has it been pretty? No, fighting my way to this point hasn’t been pretty. I feel that’s why we are all built in this way. There is no way to determine which human will be placed in prime conditions and which will be placed in tough conditions. The emotional tools we are equipped with may not be dispersed equally, but we were all equipped with the ability to learn. I choose now as I am on the verge of entering my forties, to learn this higher order thinking. Working a portion of the brain more and more, so that my logical mind becomes stronger every day. My ultimate goal being serenity in this deeply maddening world.

I had a discussion with my students the other day about anger. One student said, “as a kid, my counselor told me not to show my anger, but to keep my anger to myself.” I felt that wasn’t a very healthy way to teach a young person to deal with such an intense emotion. I asked him, “How has that advice worked out for you?” My student responded with, “I’m still trying to find a useful method to control my anger.”

I then asked, “what if we started looking at anger differently?” A lot of puzzled stares looking back at me. I then said, “what if we started looking at the positive ways in which anger can be of use to us? Can anger be of use to us? Can we manage it? Or do we let that emotion manage us?”

What if we started looking at the positive ways in which anger can be of use to us?

What are positive ways anger has helped you?

Can anger be of use to us?

Can we manage anger, or do we let anger manage us?

Emotions indicate so many things for an individual, learning to understand our emotions and why we choose to respond in certain ways, increases not only our emotional intelligence but the control we possess over ourselves. Why then should anyone just ignore this emotion, anger? Especially, when anger is often the first emotion we go to when life gets confusing, or when we are afraid, when we feel threatened or rejected.

“Anger is temporary madness: the Stoics knew how to curb it” By: Massimo Pigliucci, here he states 10 ways to curb anger! Maybe one of these can help…

  • Engage in preemptive meditation: think about what situations trigger your anger, and decide ahead of time how to deal with them.
  • Check anger as soon as you feel its symptoms. Don’t wait, or it will get out of control.
  • Associate with serene people, as much as possible; avoid irritable or angry ones. Moods are infective.
  • Play a musical instrument, or purposefully engage in whatever activity relaxes your mind. A relaxed mind does not get angry.
  • Seek environments with pleasing, not irritating, colours. Manipulating external circumstances actually has an effect on our moods.
  • Don’t engage in discussions when you are tired, you will be more prone to irritation, which can then escalate into anger.
  • Don’t start discussions when you are thirsty or hungry, for the same reason.
  • Deploy self-deprecating humour, our main weapon against the unpredictability of the Universe, and the predictable nastiness of some of our fellow human beings.
  • Practice cognitive distancing – what Seneca calls ‘delaying’ your response – by going for a walk, or retire to the bathroom, anything that will allow you a breather from a tense situation.
  • Change your body to change your mind: deliberately slow down your steps, lower the tone of your voice, impose on your body the demeanour of a calm person.

My Conclusion: I thought about anger for an entire week. Oddly enough it kept me from getting angry. While I may not have answered the question for everyone here, my answer is… Anger, like all other emotions is necessary. It is neither a good or bad thing. To let it get out of control is bad. To see what it can do for us when we need it to survive, is good.

Have a great day! The end! 🙂

A game that could help improve logic… Chess

**Wanted to include a huge thanks to @dailystoic and @stoiccoffeebreak for wonderful podcasts! Thanks for stirring good thoughts and inspiring and motivating me to change the things I can control. Check out their podcasts if you are learning on the stoic philosophy.

Mindful Moment

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I had a doctor’s appointment today, so I decided to put into practice a few things that I have been reading in the book I just started.  I will be writing my review on the book soon.  The book was suggested to me by my kid’s counselor, “One Minute Mindfulness.”  Did you know you could change your life in 60 seconds? Yeah… Me either. I have been trying to get a lot of things accomplished at home and Summer baseball is in full swing (pun intended.)  Organizing and such before school starts back for the kids & I in August.  That is correct, you heard me right.  I will still be working as a teacher.  Assignment pending, but most likely not with elementary students.  Praise the good and gracious LORD! He has been with me through some of the darkest times.

MINDFUL MOMENT

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The wind & small leaves work together, creating a small symphony.

Starting at the tip top of the surrounding trees, feel that breeze.

They create a sound similar to that of great applause.

They show their joy for this moment I took to pause.

I am present in this moment, I am aware

I hear the birds all around me, their beautiful song

And a greater presence joins, or maybe it’s been here all along.

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I feel the birds know that I envy their existence.

boasting their worry-free life, allowing me but a glimpse.

They swoop down for a quick breakfast on my lawn

As the glistening dew reflects the dawn.

The way they can see into each tiny hiding place

Makes me give a moment to this creature’s natural grace

birds flying

To fly above the world, a glorious view

warm rays of sunshine, brilliant skies of blue

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The working bird, yields a nest

picking up remnants of a forgotten mess

A small bundle of twigs, a few pieces of string

patiently waiting for the new life it will bring

The moment of listening to the leaves today

takes me to a place of gratitude, and I pray

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I pray for my family and for my friends

I hope they know the love I have for each of them.

Life is full of beautiful moments such as this,

Don’t let them pass you by, an always fleeting bliss.

Hold dear to those you love and tell them everyday

Sweet friends, in this moment I learned to never forget the importance of play.1040564_10200707385820949_648089819_o

Play relieves the pain and sadness of this world

maybe tomorrow I will take a moment to pretend I’m a bird.

Written by: Michelle C

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Nail biting and BPD : Mental Eval Friday

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For as long as I can remember I have been a nail biter.  I even have a picture somewhere that shows me biting my toenails. Before you begin to judge, I was only 2 years old. At that age it wasn’t gross to me.  I will say it now, though… GROSS!!!  And instead of my family stopping me, they only stopped to make it a Kodak moment.  I am sitting there in some very tight fitting, 80’s styled toddler outfit, looking like some sort of chunky albino monkey chewing on my toes, bearing a huge grin on my face.  Thanks mom or grandma, whomever is to blame for the evidence we now have of my intense nail biting. This habit was obviously a self-soothing method to cope with my nervousness.  Instead of sucking my thumb, I found relief in chewing up my nails.  I just recently discovered that this is something that people with BPD suffer from as well.  (Article attached at the end of blog.)  They are also classifying people that bite their nails habitually and harmfully as OCD, labeling these individuals as having a diagnosable mental disorder.

I have had several people give their best efforts to keep me from biting my nails, the jalapeno sauce on the fingernails, and one of my aunts went as far as even trying to bribe away my bad habit.  She would say that if I could grow my nails she would pay me some hard, cold cash each time I would go to visit her with longer nails.  I was unable to grow them at that age.  Life for me at that time was far too nerve racking.  I do feel that I learned to chew my nails during intense moments to help ease my anxiety.  And then it became a horrible habit that until now I felt I was unable to break.

I can remember spending loads of money getting fake nails, and feeling better about myself almost the instant my nails were done. How does a little bit of powder, gel and polish change the way I feel about myself? I know that how we feel about ourselves on the outside can affect our mental state.  It can cause serious issues.  What could possibly be enhanced by fake nails? Why stop there, why fake lashes, fake breasts, fake tan, makeup even.  Falsifying who we are on the outside to make ourselves feel better on the inside.  Personally, the idea that I could apply beautiful nails hid the fact that I had a horrible habit of biting my nails.  It also concealed my failure with my battle of being a nervous and insecure person.  The fake nails hid those real parts of me.  I loved fake nails, and I would even pick out the polish by the name…  It had to match my mood or the persona I wanted to exude.

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I am happy to announce that my addiction to fake nails has since been rehabilitated and I have beaten my nail biting nervous habit.  I am now actually growing nails, and I can’t tell you how this small & unimportant physical feature actually empowers me.  I feel like this is something I have battled since the age of 2. I had always felt that I wouldn’t be able to beat this habit.  Making the once impossible idea of beating this bad habit, now very possible.  The major change for me that has helped me beat this habits was first simply asking myself what it is I want? Giving myself time throughout the day to care for myself. Making my mind up to be more present, to be engaged more often and less time checked out. I could spend hours adrift in my thoughts, before practicing mindfulness.  I check in with reality a lot more regularly now.  Being more intentional with my actions, and with the way I want to treat myself and others.  I don’t live in a fantasy world, and I know I create what is happening in my life, and that I am in control of what happens with my body.  Starting with growing long, beautiful nails. This is just the beginning of being 100 % real.

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Now if I could just kick my habit of Snapchat filters… I would be all real all the time. LOL!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the super hero moms out there that do their very best for their kids!  Every day isn’t always easy, but they are all definitely worth it.

Biting nails and BPD… Read HERE

 

Nail Biting article… Read HERE