October 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
September 13, 2015 § 1 Comment
I currently find it extremely difficult to leave my home. It’s not a new development, but it did get better when I moved out and had my own place. Now that I’m back at my parents’, it’s worse than ever.
1. The place
My parents’ home is filled with several memories of them keeping me secluded. I wasn’t allowed to go out on my own when I was younger. I wasn’t allowed to meet up with friends until I left for college/uni.
My parents travel a lot, so I’m essentially on my own, but it still feels like a prison. There’s very little natural light and I can barely see the outside world. Everything beyond its walls feels so far away.
2. BPD and the outside world
I am completely ruled by my feelings. I have BPD, but I keep everything bottled up. When I leave my home, I’m faced with stimuli beyond my control; I experience a range of extreme emotions but have nowhere to run/retreat to. I have to suffer silently.
When I consider leaving to go somewhere, I play the journey in my mind. Images and glimpses of possible negative feelings make it difficult – or impossible – for me to do so.
Does anyone else struggle with agoraphobia? How do you cope??!
When I was writing this, I remembered a poem that I wrote three years ago (before I knew about BPD and before I had any idea what the hell was wrong with me haha). I was living at home then, too, and I was in a very dark place.
The Dungeon (July 6, ’12)
Thoughts, memories, feelings,
there’s no escape.
This dungeon was my escape,
but now the four walls cage, not protect.
“The dungeon of my black despair.”
Worse than an evil lair –
The prison of my mind.
Malicious, malevolent, makes me murderous.
Not against man or any living thing,
but against any thought I deem a sin,
such thoughts of ‘if only’
thoughts of pity.
Feelings of abandonment.
Memories which make me lament
at my state of affliction.
No physical chains inhibit me,
No, the dungeon is my room,
There’s no escape.
Well, perhaps death.
But even I am too proud and cowardly for that end.
Mankind may entertain the thought occasionally.
Those that quit are brave not cowardly
to flee to a world we know not of.
September 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’ve always loved acting. I also previously talked about the fact that I’ve always been drawn to complex/damaged characters. When I was younger, I would work on such characters after class; I would really try to become them. Chicken or egg?
Two weeks ago, I was cast in a play. My character is histrionic, but under all of that is a tangled web of fears and vulnerabilities. I’ve worked on her everyday. I read and re-read her lines. I identified her objectives and obstacles. I started to explore her physicality & her voice.
In one particular scene, she lashes out and verbally attacks another character. I’ve rehearsed it a few times (in different ways) and really felt the rage and powerful intention well up within me. It felt liberating. As I’ve said before, I’m generally an inwards-Borderline; I bottle up everything, for fear of what might happen if I let it all out.
That’s partly why I love acting. It gives me the chance to express the parts of myself that I cannot express in my own life.
The other day, I lashed out at a rude taxi driver. In hindsight, the way I spoke to him & the physicality that I adopted were those of the character. In that moment, I was her.
Normally, I enjoy watching others perform in class – I learn from doing so. In rehearsals on Saturday, however, I suddenly got the urge to be the centre of attention, and I was jealous when others were up practicing their scenes. My character deeply craves attention and adoration.
When I finally did get to be the centre of attention, I completely allowed myself to be consumed by the character. I obviously knew who I was. It was a case of: my character is angry and wants to blast this person. I will summon up every ounce of rage & the will to blast that is within me.
I didn’t hold back.
Since the session, I’ve felt…emotionally hungover. I admit, I’m a little concerned. I have BPD. I’m an empath. I’m INFP. I’m very emotionally sensitive. This role may damage me (further).
July 3, 2015 § 2 Comments
I’ve always been drawn to the “crazy”/BPD-like characters in plays & movies. One of the reasons is that they’re the most fun to act (I love acting).
Winona & Angelina in Girl Interrupted. Natalie Portman in the Black Swan. Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions. What’s concerning, yet fascinating, is that I was drawn to them before I actually developed obvious BPD symptoms.
Chicken or egg? 😄
Can anyone else relate to this?
July 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
It’s been nearly two months since I last saw any of my friends.
What have I been doing?
Hiding at home. Pilates. Trying to figure out my life.
Why is this happening?
Well this time in May, I was getting ready to go travelling for a month. I haven’t travelled in three years and I certainly haven’t done the “culture travel” thing.
Since I finished my degree (two years ago), I’ve been planning this trip. Unforeseen circumstances, however, always prevented it from happening. Friends would ask, I would tell them the trip was off, and I would feel judged. I don’t know why, but that’s just the feeling I was left with. I hated hearing them say things like “you always say you’re going to travel, and then you don’t!” I knew I seemed unreliable/or whatever…but none of it was my fault. I also couldn’t explain the “unforeseen circumstances” (which mostly had to do with my mother). I was ashamed.
So I decided not to tell anyone about my plans until I knew FOR SURE that nothing would get in the way of them becoming a reality. Eventually, I did. Annoyingly, they all got really excited and kept on asking about the trip.
A few days before I was due to leave, unforeseen circumstances shut down my plans. Once again. It really depressed me. I decided to disappear. My friends sent me messages along the lines of “where in the world are you?? I just keep picturing you dancing somewhere in Spain or lounging on the French Riviera.” -_- high expectations.
At first I’d only planned on disappearing for a week. A week has become two months. And the idea of disappointing my friends – with their high expectations and vivid imaginations – is overwhelming. It’s scary. And I don’t know how to explain my disappearance, either.
My therapy diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder with Avoidant Tendencies.
Yup. Avoidant as hell.
June 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved acting. Yes, it’s possible that acting comes naturally to those with Borderline Personality Disorder. One is able to “try on” different personalities in the form of characters with “stable identities”; you, as an actor, know who your character is, what s/he wants, what stands in his/her way, and how s/he is going to deal with that. In contrast, BPD means that the majority of us lack that sense of stability as far as our identity, needs, and wants are concerned.
Acting also enables the expression of raw human emotions and expression without repression. It’s a safe place to lash out for those whose BPD is externally expressed. For those, like me, who keep things bottled up internally, the same applies.
But BPD aside, acting has always been a means of tapping into my essence; it is a means of exploring and experiencing both the delightful & darkest parts of human nature. I love it!
I’ve had a lot of experience with acting with a script & a designated character. Improvisation, however, has always been a little scary. You, as an actor, create the character and scene. You decide what happens. How can I do this effectively when I can’t even do it in my own life? I wanted to find out.
So on Saturday, I went to a full-day improvisation workshop. I learned A LOT, and I think the lessons are all very useful for BPD. I’ll share them with you in a three parts ☺️
Freeing Your Inner Creator
Try these exercises.
Look around the room you’re in. If possible, stand up and walk around. Point to and name items that you walk past. Do this for about a minute (or when you’ve run out of items lol).
Now go back and do the same. This time, name previous item that you pointed at. For example, silently point at the ceiling. Then point at a chair and say “ceiling”. Then point at your laptop and say “chair”. Etc.
This time, point at items and name them something else. Say anything that comes to your mind. Anything. I mean, there was a girl in the workshop who pointed at a window and said “my mum”. So anything goes.
At first it will feel uncomfortable/silly. The rational mind will tell you that you’re saying stupid words. The rational mind likes the first two exercises; it likes having to solve problems and get things “right”. This is the part of the mind which is constantly on overdrive; if it’s not telling us how bad we/our lives are, it’s overanalysing other people. This is the part of the mind which governs our reactions, interpretations & drives us crazy.
Sometimes, another part of the mind comes into play. It’s from a source other than our distorted beliefs. Call it inspiration, call it whatever you want. It’s the part that we often shut down. It gives us an idea but we doubt it. We either doubt that we can accept it or we fear that others won’t. So it retreats. Perhaps we’ve learned to treat it this way from past experiences. Or perhaps it was the way our parents treated us.
Like a child, this part of the mind needs support, warmth, and love. So when you point at a chair and call it a fairy, embrace that. Love your mind for coming up with that word. Treat it as the best possible word it could ever have come up with. Treat it as though it makes sense and as though it IS good enough.
In doing so, you begin to build your self esteem & trust yourself. You may even giggle at what comes out. You may notice a theme and become more aware of the sort of things that lie beneath the surface of your mind. Let me know how it goes!