Fearing the Wise Mind

wiseowlLast night I don’t feel like I got my point across very well. This is a very complicated emotion thus the struggle I’m having in effectively communicating what the hell it is I’m feeling about it. First off, let me explain what happened. Ever since I was little, I’ve felt my parents have favored Thomas. It was always little stuff like giving him more praise for a good job in school but its effect was felt. Rather than get mad and become evil and bent on total domination or human destruction, I internalized everything and pushed myself to be better than Thomas so that I could, one day, receive the same love and affection that he did. I want to make it clear that I was never angry about it. I was hurt and each time the favoritism was evident, I was more determined to win over their love. Well, this internalization, we (as in me and Allister) believe, led to my many problems today. Perfectionism? I got that down. Unrealistic expectations? Check. The problem with this little theory though, is that 1) I don’t want to be angry with my parents and I feel like that’s what is being said. I feel like I have to be. But, after giving it consideration last night, the reason I don’t want to be angry at them is because, in my mind, being angry at them means not loving them. Using my rational mind, I know that’s not true. I know that no matter what I’m feeling towards my parents that I love them. My emotional mind is saying something completely different. It’s saying that being mad at them means there’s no room for loving them. It means I would have to revert back to the way things were a while ago when it was constant fighting and just bitter hatred. So what’s my wise mind saying? Well, it’s saying that it’s okay to be angry and still love them. But, me being the willful person I am, I don’t completely trust my wise mind. I still haven’t successfully separated my emotions from things like love so how do I know it’s different this time? What if it’s not and I’m destined to become that child that shoots up a school or something because in her eyes, her parents never loved her enough? I mean, that’s what it really boils down to. Thomas receives more love than I do. God, even typing that was hard. See, whenever I bring this to their attention (and I have on numerous occasions), they always have some rational explanation for their behavior. And at first, it makes perfect sense. But the more I think about it, the more it doesn’t and I’m even more pissed off that I fell for it in the first place. No parent wants to think they made mistakes. I get that. But when the kid who’s supposedly favored even sees it, that’s a problem. And Allister stated the obvious yesterday, which is why I think I got so upset. I’m never going to get an apology from them. I’m never going to hear them say they’re sorry for what they’ve done. And worst of all, I’m never going to be on equal ground as Thomas. And this is where radical acceptance comes in. That’s the hardest skill of all, one that I’m not sure I’m ever going to master. How do you radically accept that your parents love you less than your brother? I don’t hate Thomas or hold any animosity towards him over this either. Actually, Thomas and I are very close. But accepting that, in my parents’ eyes, I will never be on the same level is like the dagger to the heart. I already drive that point home every time I think about all the ways I’ve failed in life so radically accepting that on top of all of those failures…well, maybe it’s a point of accepting them too. Oh God, there’s so much acceptance to be done! When it comes to that, I just freeze up. I can’t do it. I don’t know what it is about radically accepting something that I don’t get but I just can’t seem to grasp the concept. I think it’s the finality of all of it. It’s the fact that once I’ve accepted whatever I’m accepting, I’m resigned to whatever fate accompanies that acceptance. And the more I think about it, accepting the fact that my parents will never love me as much as they love Thomas (God, that sounds so terrible! Maybe it’s ‘the fact that my parents will never love me in the same way they love Thomas.’ Yea, I like that better), the fate that I would be resigned to if I accepted that is Recovery. It would be a step in the right direction, a step I would be taking without my parents. Although it would be a step for me, it’s a step without them and that scares the crap out of me. Fear is a powerful motivator. But it’s also a powerful inhibitor. And I think it’s keeping me from truly getting better. So how do I get around this practically insurmountable object? I mean, Allister said the exact same thing to me yesterday in therapy and what did I do? I completely shut down. I went home and slept for 2 hours. I avoided. I ran away from my problems. Something I’m even struggling not to do right now. I’ve hovered my cursor over the ‘Save Draft’ button numerous times while writing this, wondering if I had the strength to continue. I think I have some serious work ahead of me. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fun. But it needs to be done.

Digging Up Dirt

imagesSometimes getting what you wished for sucks. Even though you aren’t supposed to tell your wishes, I sort of already told mine. I wanted to get into serious shit with Allister in therapy. And I most definitely got my wish. But is it wrong that I’m now kind of wishing I didn’t? We’re talking about the problems my parents have created in my life, mostly through their favoritism towards my younger brother. Now, I’m not one to point the finger at anyone (actually, I am. I love blaming people for my problems) but when it comes to my parents, this is especially tricky for me to do and I don’t know why. Part of me feels as though I should be angry (partially because Allister said it was acceptable to be, not necessarily that I had to be) but I’m not. Instead, I’m still pining for their love and affection. I’m still waiting for the day when they recognize everything they’ve done and apologize to me. But that’s being willful. Allister was very blunt today when he told me that I was being willful and resistant to Recovery because I was afraid. I’m not even going to lie, it hurt. Not because it’s a false statement. It hurt because it’s true. I don’t mean to be resistant. I try as hard as I can to be the exact opposite. I try to be effective but it’s always at the most critical times, the times that matter, that I fail. So it’s as if I wasn’t trying at all. That’s how my entire life has been. I would resist temptation and the one time I would give in was the one time the teacher/parent/guardian/God was looking. It’s just so frustrating to know that I suck at being effective. Like that’s just one more thing I’m bad at. One more thing to add to my list of failures and defeats. What am I supposed to do with this list? I was telling Thomas about today’s tough therapy session and he was saying how he understood how powerful fear could be, even as a motivator and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself because I wasn’t doing it on purpose. But what if I am? What if subconsciously/consciously I am? What if, deep down, I know exactly what I’m doing when I resist or become willful? Then who am I helping? I just feel like I’m never going to get better. I feel like this is never going to end. I can’t be mad at my parents for something they did, even though there’s no denying they did it. I tried that once and it failed miserably. And then I feel like a traitor for whining about all of this to my computer screen and not Allister himself. He’ll read all of this eventually but until then, it’s my little, shameful secret. I just feel so lost and confused. I feel like I’m dredging up all of this old shit and now I don’t know what to do with it. I mean, I need this old dirt, it’s helping me to figure out the root of the problem. There’s just so much shit everywhere right now, I don’t know what to do with myself.

Needs and Numbers

Les_Mis_Day4_blogI wish I was still in bed. Unfortunately, I’m sitting in the public library. I came up here to find something to read since I never do that anymore and to pick up a bunch of CDs I ordered so I could update my iPod. Since I seem to blog best in the library, I thought I’d take a shot at it while I was here. But let the record reflect, I’d rather be at home in bed, asleep. I woke up this morning at 7:00 because I couldn’t sleep anymore. I found out last night that Uncle Fish is being put in a nursing home today. Which is definitely not cool. And of course, I feel like it’s my fault. I sit at home and do nothing day in and day out and what happens to him? He gets shoved into a home like someone forgot about him. My dad traveled down there to make the transition a little easier but I don’t know how much of a difference it’s going to make. I know how much having to depend on other people is weighing on Uncle Fish and this is going to be the ultimate cake-topper. It hurts me that he’s hurting, it really does. I cried this morning because I felt so defenseless, so helpless. There’s nothing anyone can do. We all just have to kind of sit and wait with him and that’s scary. And this is so incredibly hard for me because it’s like staring death in the face. Uncle Fish looks so physically sick every time I see him. Whenever we go down there, he looks worse. I don’t know what to do with myself when I see him. Like I want to leave the room because I almost can’t handle it. I have such issues. Speaking of which, I need to declare to Allister (well, since he’ll be reading this at some point between now and our next session [Hi, Allister!], he’ll know it for himself!) that I want therapy to be more serious. I want to get to the real heart and soul of the problem. I don’t want to scratch the surface anymore. I’ve never cried in therapy, and most of the time I leave feeling perfectly fine. Am I suppose to? Aren’t I suppose to leave feeling like crap? Aren’t I supposed to be upset and hysterical? I just don’t know if the deeper, like root-of-the-problem problems are being dealt with. Like when I bring up my self-esteem issues in group, it’s really difficult to talk about and I feel super self-conscious, but when I do the exact same thing with Allister, I feel like I deflect with humor and avoid the subject so expertly that in the end, it’s never really discussed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to it. I’m scared shitless. I don’t want to do this at all. But I know that in order to get better, I need to. I’m taking Medical Coding this semester for my Medical Assisting degree. There’s a numerical code for every recognized disease on the face of the Earth and it’s all contained within this book called the ICD-9-CM. Borderline Personality Disorder’s code is 301.83. Major Depressive Disorder’s code is 296.2. And OCD’s code is 300.3. That’s my life contained in code. I could add one more for generalized anxiety but that sort of ties in with the OCD. On a piece of paper, that’s the definition of Lucy Burnett. It was kind of like a holy moment for me and I don’t know why. To see myself the way clinicians see me was really like, Inception-esque. I don’t know how to describe it. The cutting, the crying, the sleeping, the lack of motivation, the guilt, the sorrow, everything is contained in 3 sets of 4 digits. It’s really scary. I feel like Jean Valjean from Les Mis. 24601. Except mine is 301.83, 296.2, or 300.3.  I don’t know. I start with a new psychiatrist on Monday because my last appointment with Dr. Ordella (which was on Wednesday) was a disaster. Allister found this one. She works at the Center. Hopefully, she’ll be willing to help me so I don’t feel so contained by the numbers and the diagnoses. On Wednesday, I brought my mom with me to see Dr. Ordella because I knew I wasn’t going to stay calm at all. First, Dr. Ordella made me sign a release, with my mom sitting in the room right next to me, saying that she had permission to talk to my mom. As if my mom being there wasn’t permission enough! Then, she started going in on me about how she would’ve switched me if I had asked (basically calling me a liar again) bla, bla, bla so I stopped listening. Eventually, my mom reasoned with her and we started on a low dose of Prozac. Right now I’m weaning off the Effexor so I start the Prozac in a little while. We’ll see how it goes with this doctor though, she might have other plans. I think I’m ready for a nap.

“Why Can’t They Understand The Way We Feel?”

44youllbecddeFor some reason, I like to write early in the morning. Or would it be considered late at night? It’s 3:06 AM on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. I have class today at 2:10 in the afternoon. About 11 hours from now, actually. I took a Melatonin last night because I knew sleeping would be difficult but obviously it isn’t working. I slept literally all afternoon yesterday. I woke up at noon, got up for an hour, then went back to sleep until 3:00. It was ridiculous. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I laid in bed the rest of the day. My mom had me call Dr. Ordella but I don’t know what that’s going to do since we basically abandoned our doctor/patient relationship last time we had a visit. I highly doubt she’s going to be of any help. And I don’t see Allister until Wednesday. I’m at a loss. I do everything I’m supposed to do. I do Opposite Action (except for yesterday, yesterday I didn’t do squat!), I practice resistance when it comes to cutting, I attend therapy and group every single week, I visit with my psychiatrist once a month, I take my medicine every day and what? What happens? I’m still miserable. I don’t understand. And I’ve recently learned that this whole ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’ thing might not even be true. Some scientists believe it was gimmick made up by the drug companies to make people take medication. That’s really promising, right? That’s really reassuring that the one thing that I actually took solace in, the one thing that actually convinced me this was an actual disease might not even be true. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this knowledge. Ruin other people’s lives? Shatter other people’s hopes for treatment? Deja vu! Whoa! I’m listening to “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins. It’s on my Anti-Happiness playlist on YouTube. I’m depressed, okay? This song always reminds me of my dad. I’m so scared I’m going to lose him and this song perfectly captures that feeling. Okay, anyway, back to the issue, I don’t know what to do about this depression. And no one else seems to know either. I almost feel crazy. I feel like I’m in gym class, climbing that rope where you have to ring the cow bell at the top. Well, I’m at the top, ringing that stupid bell and no one’s around to hear. And no one’s around to tell me how to get down. I’m stuck up here, alone, screaming for help. I have no idea what to do. And I’m sick of feeling that way too. I’m sick of feeling like there’s no hope for me. I’m sick of feeling out of control. I feel like there’s no hope for me. I need control in my life. I need to be able to handle some portion of my life somehow. But how? I don’t know. I’m lost. And I don’t know how to find my way back. I’m getting sleepy.

“I’m Tellin Y’all It’s Sabotage!”

9_wolfWhat the hell am I doing? I’m so lost and confused. I’m wandering in the woods. I can hear the wolves and I’m not sure how close they are. I feel like they’ve caught my scent. It’s 4:45 AM on Sunday morning. February 10, 2013. I haven’t written in like 2 weeks. Shame on me. I do apologize for that. But I am in the grips of a horrible depression right now. I’m not sure how to get out of it either. That’s what I mean by the wolves. They’re coming after me. They’re named Cutting, Depression and Suicide. Cutting visited me last night. Yes, unfortunately, I broke my streak. It was a short-lived one; only a few weeks. Technically, I scratched myself. I didn’t feel like getting up to get my scissors. That’s how bad the depression has got me. I can’t even get up to try and relieve the pressure it’s putting on me. I had the urge all day. I tried OA (Opposite Action) by doing my homework literally all day which is a whole other story because my teacher is really stupid! My online teacher is in Hawaii because she’s an adjunct professor the school hired. She made assignments due every four days instead of every week. And it’s a lot of freaking work! So I missed the second assignment because I was under the impression that it was due on the following Saturday (yesterday), not Wednesday. She even emailed me to ask me what was going on. Luckily, she let me turn it in late but I was still really pissed off. I spent my day doing that, picking Thomas up, sleeping, sitting on Pinterest, and writing. I even went and told my mom that I felt like cutting. But finally, the pressure was too much. I couldn’t stand it anymore. Nothing was working. So I did it. I couldn’t resist anymore. I made plans tomorrow to spend some time with Allison so that I’m not as alone as today. She understands what I’m going through with depression. This is just so frustrating! I feel like every time I take three steps forward, I take five steps backward. I don’t know if it’s because I’m finally getting somewhere in therapy; I’m making new revelations about myself that I’ve never touched on before. Is that scaring me too much? Is that freaking me out enough that subconsciously I’m sabotaging myself? The other day in group, we talked about change and how people become comfortable in their depression. I was saying that my self-esteem is so low that it sort of feeds on itself. It’s like a cycle. I’m not allowed to do certain things. I’m not allowed to feel certain ways or things. If I do, bad things happen. If not to me, then to my family. And that’s not okay. It’s hard to explain. Okay, so like if I get a good grade in class, I’m not allowed to be proud of myself because I should have had that good grade in the first place. I didn’t earn anything. That’s how most of my accomplishments work. I didn’t earn them. It was an expectation I fulfilled, not an accomplishment I surpassed. When I was a child, I was really naive. I let all kinds of stuff get to me and bother me. I thought everyone was going to be my best friend. When that didn’t happen, I was devastated. Honestly, looking back, it looks like the early signs of BPD. The extremes of emotion, the black and white of relationships, it’s all there. Anyway, when that kept happening over and over again, I finally threw up a wall and decided to make it stop happening. I stopped being vulnerable. I started being mean instead. Well, that got me friends but not the very best kind. It attracted the wrong sort to me and I got mixed up in some crazy stuff. My BPD symptoms fed on the negativity. The compounded effects seem to dig a deeper trench and solidify the values and beliefs I’d developed about people and myself. There are a few that I don’t think will ever change. And I know a lot of them are really cynical and negative but I think they’re true. I’ll try to ramble off five.

1. People are always after something. No one does anything for free.

2. People usually don’t have nice things to say. And they usually don’t have the guts to say it to your face.

3. People lie. Plain and simple, they never tell the truth.

4. If people have the chance, they’ll pick themselves over you. There’s never any doubt who comes first.

5. It doesn’t matter how much you do for a person, they’ll use you until you’re dead.

Okay, there’s five of my core beliefs about people. They’re horrible creatures. And I’m not saying this is true for all of them but it’s a pretty accurate model for most of them. Like it doesn’t fit for most family members. But it definitely fits for friends. And then I remember that I don’t have any friends. I think that part of my life is really eating away at me right now. I’m so lonely. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I need to try to have a more active relationship with Ty and Allison. It’s just so difficult when you’re depressed. I mean, they both understand where I’m coming from but even knowing that makes it hard to pick up the phone. I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been in therapy for 2 1/2 years now. I’ve been in group for 6 months. I’ve been on medication for 2 1/2 years. I’m running out of options. This shit needs to stop. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and it’s still not stopping. I just want it to end. I just want the cutting to end. I feel like crying all the time. I’ve made a playlist on YouTube that I listen to nonstop called “Anti-Happiness.” I get mad at myself sometimes for still missing Mara. I don’t want to but at least with her, I had some company. The depression was a different, less lonely kind. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m running out of options. I feel like I’m at a dead end and everyone but Allister has given up on me. I’m not sure where to go from here.