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I walk the (border)line: SOS


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This post is heavy in ramblings and talk about sexuality.

Okay, sometimes it's.. hard for me to open up. I've been conditioned over the years by my mom and dad and my ex best friend not to speak my feelings because I might get a bad reaction out of my dad, hurt my mom's feelings or make the ex best friend angry. Hah. Okay.

I've been in therapy for borderline personality disorder symptoms since February. I was just recently diagnosed. Already I've made some progress... I think. I've made a little list of the things I know about myself to be true and concrete, the things I've discovered about myself to be solid fact and not facades. Things that have been subjective to other people over time, but these things are as follows:

- I am gay.

- I am female.

- I want to be a teacher.

Three things that people normally do know about themselves with a measure of certainty... it took me this long to figure it out... and I still have my fears that they aren't true. Irrational, I think, but..

I've never known myself. Not once. I've never gotten the opportunity to know myself. Hell, I've never been convinced an Azul actually existed. I've always been subject to the whims of the people around me. My ex best friend, superficial friends, the rare boyfriend, girlfriends, my mom-- I've BEEN everyone I've been around. I've taken on traits of them. One of my ex boyfriends was transgendered, and after I dated him, I took up the name 'Miguel' because I, too, thought I was transgendered. I'm not.

Now.. here comes the confessional.

Over the summer after.. a terrible breakup-- it had to do with my ex best friend getting in the way, me going out with friends all the time, me being a general douche, me being kissed by someone while I was seeing her long distance and both of our unrealized mental illnesses taking tolls on us-- I had an unwanted experience with the boy who had kissed me while I was seeing the wonderful girl. It was disgusting, and I felt.. trapped into doing it. It was awful. Before that, I had been hanging out with him. All I had wanted was a friend and I was pretty desperate. I said I would have even gone so far as to date him even though I was not attracted to him in any way shape or form just so he wouldn't leave me. That's.. disgusting. But I digress.

Being on the internet and being a creative person, I turned my sights to a roleplaying website I had been on during that summer anyway. I made a character who was... me. Me in every way shape and form. It was actually very creepy. Here is the kicker-- a lot of her sexual fetishes were things I currently find disgusting, and some of the things she hated are things that I currently like. I think that had to do with the company I was keeping at the time, but two of them had to do with what happened to ME. I think I didn't make the connection when I made the profile, I think I was trying to distance myself far away from it, but here's also what gets me: if I'm gay, why would she be bisexual? Is it the company I was keeping? Did I see myself as bisexual then? This was six or so months ago.

Honestly? I hate this illness. I hate it so much. I wish I had a stable sense of self, I wish I could set boundaries for myself-- though I have set up some very good ones--and I wish I could just look back on my past and be proud of it instead of hate myself for it. I don't want to hurt so much. I don't want to suddenly.. feel upset and then feel like I want to hurt myself.

I just want to know if what I'm feeling right now is really me? In my own quiet time I tried to ask myself, "Am I bisexual? Here, try this mask on." And when I do try to quietly identify as bisexual, it doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel right at all. I feel this sick sense of... something amiss, like it doesn't belong. Or pansexual. Lesbian feels right to me, lesbian feels right in my heart. But can I trust myself to make this decision on my own?

It feels right. It feels like I finally know who I am at least a LITTLE BIT and I don't want to give this up because I know.. nobody else quite knows the pain of lack of identity except for those who have never had it before.

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Does it help any to think of sexuality as less of a once off decision and more of a process? I went through a stage where I was really questioning my sexuality and I was driving myself nuts trying to figure out what I was and what I wanted. In the end, I had to go with "this is what I want right now" and after a few years, I noticed that it hadn't changed and now I feel quite confident in saying that I am a lesbian.

It's sort of a balancing act with that one - you really want a word or a name to describe what you are, but at the same time, the idea that you might be wrong or can't be sure drives you bonkers.

It's really hard not knowing who you are. It's one of the really agonizing parts of BPD (then, is there a part that ISN'T horrifically agonizing?) but it does get better with time and treatment. You're doing the right thing by seeking therapy, and if you hang in there and do the work, eventually you will feel better.

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Are you in DBT? I think some of the wise mind stuff might be really helpful in this instance. If you're not, I can try to explain it a bit.

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Does it help any to think of sexuality as less of a once off decision and more of a process? I went through a stage where I was really questioning my sexuality and I was driving myself nuts trying to figure out what I was and what I wanted. In the end, I had to go with "this is what I want right now" and after a few years, I noticed that it hadn't changed and now I feel quite confident in saying that I am a lesbian.

It's sort of a balancing act with that one - you really want a word or a name to describe what you are, but at the same time, the idea that you might be wrong or can't be sure drives you bonkers.

It's really hard not knowing who you are. It's one of the really agonizing parts of BPD (then, is there a part that ISN'T horrifically agonizing?) but it does get better with time and treatment. You're doing the right thing by seeking therapy, and if you hang in there and do the work, eventually you will feel better.

It does help to think of it as more of a process. "This is what I want right now"-- that would be where I am, then. Not knowing one's self is the hardest thing of all, and it hurt me every day. At least now I think I know who I am and it's getting better and I'm clinging desperately to it, which I probably shouldn't do. But thank you. Once I get the correct treatment(DBT) I'm going to stick it through and do the work. I think that'll be the key to help me. Thanks, Tryp.

Are you in DBT? I think some of the wise mind stuff might be really helpful in this instance. If you're not, I can try to explain it a bit.

I'm not in DBT right now, my tdoc does DBT-type work, but I'm trying to find a tdoc who specializes IN DBT itself. Wise mind stuff? Do tell, that would be awesome, pleeease!

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Okay, I'll have a stab at it, but I'm no DBT therapist.

DBT theorizes that people have two mind states; emotional mind and reasonable mind. Now the words emotional and reasonable are pretty loaded in themselves, but emotional means what it suggests, a mind state that comes from a place of instinctive emotion. Reasonable mind is a state of logic, intellect and reason. Think of emotional mind as Kirk and reasonable mind as Spock, Star Trek style. What people do is to tend toward one or the other state when it comes to decision making, when in fact we all have access to both states. However making a decision based on reason alone can make it a very cold calculating one, whereas an emotional instinctive choice can also be unwise. People assume that emotion is bad and reaosn is good but we need both states.

DBT puts forward the idea that there is a third mind state, called Wise mind. Wise mind is a synthesis, or bringing together of both emotion and logic. Wise mind is what feels right deep down, on an intuitive level. When mindfulness techniques are used to take a step back from emotion and reason, and both can be combined, we can make choices that are right for us.

The reason I bring it up is that it seems that the way you view your sexuality has either been very emotionally based, or very reasoned out, and maybe you are swinging between the extremes rather than allowing a bit of both and making a decision that feels right to you. The fact that lesbian feels right for you in your heart is an indication that it's a wise mind choice for you right now, regardless of what may change in the future.

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  • 1 month later...

There's a saying in my language I am not sure if it might provoke you or give you some solace.

"Whatever happened, happened for the good; whatever is happening, is happening for the good; whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only. You need not have any regrets for the past. You need not worry for the future. The present is happening..."

This concept teaches that if we take control of our attention (which always seems to go to negative memories or negative what-if's) we can consciously pull our attention from that question that's bothering us inside our mind and bring to to the present moment where physical reality like the sound of you breath going in and coming out exists.

Never think that you can outthink thinking, antidote is putting attention on here and now and living.

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  • 1 month later...

I just came across this thread Azul, and I can totally relate.

When you have such an unstable sense of self, you question every single thing you think or do. It's the ambivilance that is so common in BPD. I don't know the answer yet. But I'm assuming the more therapy you have and the better you (we) get that the answers will feel more true and we will believe them.

Croix

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  • 3 weeks later...

Titania, thank you for that. I didn't reply when I read that the first time, but I have been using what that taught me more and more and it's been helping me to develop a sense of self. I continue on.. and I learn what is inside of myself, I try to see what is inside of me, what makes me feel good, what makes me feel comfortable. Really, everything is the same besides the teacher thing. I'm not sure if I want to be a teacher or not, I assume that's just me trying to get my footing. I've made some good steps in regards to my sexuality. I realized I've been struggling for years with it, because of what everyone around me had been, as well. It was swayed because of other people, as tends to be the issue with us sometimes. But I have time to myself. I have time to think. And think I did. And I realized.. let's do what feels right for us, and what feels right for me is what has always felt right to me since I first came out, before I was skewed by others.

Venkat, I.. thank you. That saying gives me comfort and solace and I really love it. I think I will print it out and put it up somewhere, especially with what you said afterwards. I think everyone should follow that. It.. really does offer me a bunch of comfort. Thank you so much for posting it here for me. It sounds quite a bit like what I need to learn, that I need to not let my thoughts take control. I need to be in control.

Croix, that is so true. The better therapy one gets the more one's answers are solidified for them, I think. I mean, I've started my DBT, and I'm not sure if I've started the actual DBT portion of the therapy yet, but I feel quite a bit better. I feel.. like I have a sense of self that is actually stable for once. I can say who I am with sureness instead of.. not knowing who I am from minute to minute. I know my name, I know my sexuality, I know my typing style, I know that I have a short fuse but I'm pretty laid back most of the time, I'm anxious around other people, I like the color blue. I use the whole word 'okay' instead of 'ok'. I.. Yeah, this is me. I prefer jeans over shorts. I believe that there is a collective energy somewhere in the universe and that is where we go when we die, I believe in reincarnation, and I believe that there is good in everything except a lot of people. I'm a pisces and a goat. This is me, haha, and I can say it with utmost certainty. Finally. FINALLY. This comes from thinking about myself a lot. But I still have a ways to go in other aspects of this illness. The anger, the overreacting, the self harm, yeahh..

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