I hate Paul Ryan.

paulryan_jerk

PLEASE SHARE AND DO THIS!  If you are serious about saving the ACA, text RESIST to 50409. You can do this more than once. Each time, a letter will be sent to another two senators or representatives. This is real — and you will get an actual person who will work with you on your letter.

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I’m breaking my own rule here not to write a rant about partisan politics, but this really isn’t a partisan issue, or if it is, it shouldn’t be.

“Trumpcare” might win the house, and he is willing to bet our lives against the house.  This is unbelievable. If this bill passes, I better pray I don’t get sick, which isn’t likely given my age. I’m in that vulnerable ‘older’ (50-64) age group and am FAR from rich. No way could I afford the premiums.  I’ll be in that group of 14 million who loses their healthcare the first year.

If you have a ‘pre-existing condition’ you will not even be able to get insurance even if you could afford it, if your state opts out, which many red states will.  These people say they are pro-life, but guess what — PREGNANCY is a pre-existing condition!   You can be sure there will be more abortions then ever, when poor and middle class women who lose their healthcare realize their pregnancies won’t even be covered.

Ironically, Trump’s working class supporters will be most negatively affected by this horrible bill. It probably won’t pass Senate, but still, this is so scary.

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I also want to smack that smug, self righteous smirk off Ryan’s stupid face.   I don’t hate too many people (even Trump escapes my hatred a little because he’s batshit insane and a mental and emotional child), but I really, REALLY hate Paul Ryan.  This smug sociopath (who lived off the death benefits from his dad’s social security and had everything paid for by the government (and still gets everything paid for by the government through OUR TAXES) thinks people need to “take responsibility” for their own healthcare.  HELLO?!   How is losing your health insurance going to teach ANYONE responsibility?  I’m so SICK of this blaming the victim, Ayn Randian, “bootstraps” mentality.

This Eddie Munster-looking twit has NO conscience and not a shred of empathy.    I can just see the way he’ll gloat and smirk if and when this “healthcare” bill passes.  He just loves the idea of kicking 24 million people off healthcare.  He WANTS us to suffer and die.   I really think this Ayn Rand worshipping d*ck is trying to thin the herd — the old, poor and sick  aren’t “producers” so of course they can go first.   Good thing we have liberal GUN LAWS — because if you get cancer, suicide might be the only option.     This bill also means a big ass tax break for his billionaire buddies.   God, I hate this administration.  NOTHING they have done or plan to do is good for the average American.    These people are CHRISTIANS?  That’s a laugh.   Pro-life?  Yeah, only until you’re born.  Have a sick baby and you’re not rich? Too bad!  You should have made better life choices.

Sorry if this offends, but I’m mad as hell and scared!  It’s very traumatizing for many of us.   I hope the whole lot of them get impeached soon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republicans-health-care-bill_us_5909fdf9e4b02655f84314af?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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Martial arts for uncontrollable anger.

taekwondo

Many people with Cluster B disorders and C-PTSD suffer from periodic, uncontrollable rages.  My son isn’t Cluster B, but when he was a young teenager, he had anger issues due to his father’s and my divorce (among other things) and successfully channeled that anger through his involvement in Kung Fu classes.    Not only did the classes help him channel his anger, they also taught him how to be mindful and greatly boosted his self-confidence.    As his confidence grew, he was less prone to sudden rages.

Many kids these days take Taekwondo classes.   Kids who have been bullied really benefit because learning these skills makes them feel less defenseless and more confident.  But they aren’t just for kids.  Adults with anger problems can benefit from such classes too.

Contrary to what many people think, the martial arts don’t teach violence.   These disciplines aren’t just for self-defense.   The philosophy behind them is that mindfulness is a must to defend yourself successfully–and that fighting back without justifiable cause will always make things worse.   They also teach their students respect for others and demand deference to the instructor.

For Cluster B people in particular, the martial arts provide four things that people with these disorders need so badly:

–learning to be more mindful
–learning to respect others
–channeling anger appropriately
–boosting real self confidence

Here’s a good article I found about how martial arts can be used to help people control angry outbursts and learn to be more mindful.

http://english.astroawani.com/lifestyle/do-you-suffer-anger-disorders-learn-martial-arts-42022

Absurd dream that made me angry and then laugh.

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I dreamed about my stupid narcopath ex again.   I don’t know why I keep dreaming about him because I never actually think about him and no longer care about him.  My primary “emotion” toward him is slightly annoyed indifference.  I don’t even feel much anger anymore.  Just boredom. Honestly, if he were killed in a car accident tomorrow, I doubt I’d care that much, except for the impact it would have on our kids.  He’s like a stranger to me, one I’m glad I have almost nothing to do with.

In these dreams, he’s always doing better than me and I resent the hell out of it because I think he’s so undeserving and an insufferable ass who deserves to be deprived instead of me. I know that makes me sound like the narcissist instead of him, but it’s the truth.  These feelings come out in my dreams.  Here’s the latest.

In the dream, the knob on my ancient stove (the real one I actually have) stopped working.  The white paint that spelled the numbers and the “OFF” were long rubbed off, but I had still been able to tell if it was off or on because of the little “click” when I turned it that told me it was off.  But the knob kept spinning in place and wouldn’t click.  Something seemed to be broken or loose.

I don’t know what kind of place we were in.  There were all these strange people walking around, like it was the middle of a public hallway somewhere.  So here I was, sitting on the floor in the middle of this hallway, with all these strangers walking back and forth, angrily fuming and fiddling with the broken stove knob.   I knew I couldn’t afford to buy a new stove, or even have the thing repaired.

My ex was over in another corner, with all his new toys, like it was Christmas morning or something.   He had TWO new coffeemakers (why?), a set of brand new dishes, an ice cream maker, a deep fryer, an espresso maker, a juicer, and an expensive food processor.   Their boxes and packaging were strewn nearby.   I went over to ask him to help me with the stove knob, and that’s when I saw all his new kitchen loot.   I was enraged and jealous.

“Where the HELL did you get all that new stuff? TWO coffee makers?  Why would you need TWO goddam coffeemakers? Who the hell NEEDS two coffeemakers?”  I yelled, outraged.

He ignored me.   That enraged me even more.

“Where did you get the money to buy all that crap, HUH? Who you freeloading off of this time?” I demanded. “I know you didn’t EARN it!”  He continued to act like I wasn’t there.

angrywoman

“Maybe you STOLE it!” I accused.   I thought of all the times he had stolen money out of my wallet while I slept.  Or the time recently when he stole the money my daughter had been saving to move to her own apartment.

Blood roared in my head.  “NO ONE NEEDS TWO FRIGGIN’ COFFEEMAKERS!”  I screamed.

Did I expect him to give me one?  Maybe I did.  I wasn’t sure.   All I knew was that this injustice made my blood boil. This POS who had freeloaded off me for seven years so he could get disability and never have to work a day in his life again had two brand new coffeemakers and a bunch of other useless kitchen crap that he’d probably never use.  And I had nothing but a broken stove and bills I couldn’t pay.

I looked around.  The people walking back and forth ignored us.  They might as well have not heard me yelling.  Maybe they didn’t hear me.   I didn’t care if they did or not.  I was beyond niceties.

I fixed my gaze back on the narcopath. I imagined my eyes were two laser beams boring into his blackened soul. “Hey! I need you to help me fix my stove.  The knob is broken and I don’t know how to fix it.  And unlike YOU, I can’t afford to buy a new stove or have it fixed.  So I need your help if you can tear yourself away from your new toys long enough to come have a look.”

He continued to open his packages, pulling styrofoam out of another box.  Maybe it was a third coffeemaker.    His two coffeemakers sat side by side on the floor, taunting me.  I felt like drop kicking them into the wall.  I glared balefully at them instead.    Those innocent hunks of plastic and brushed chrome represented everything I hated about this man.

“Hey.  I’m talking to YOU.   I need you to help me with my stove.”   I had the broken knob in my hand.  I shoved it in his face so he would look.  He still ignored me.  What the hell was his problem?   I looked back to where the stove had been, but I didn’t see it.   I wasn’t too concerned.  After all, this was a dream and as far as I was concerned, the stove was still there.

I asked people around if they had seen the stove.  I showed them the knob.  No one had seen it.  Strange.  But I still knew it was there.    I walked back over to where my ex sat and continued my tirade and demands.   I wanted him to suffer.

“Well, you insufferable ass. Since you refuse to help and continue to give me the silent treatment, I want one of those damn coffeemakers,” I said.   He was still ignoring me.

I woke up and laughed.   What a ridiculous, absurd dream.  What an complete entitled bitch I had been in it too.  Narcopath or not, no one deserved to be treated the way I treated him in the dream. I would never actually behave that way in real life.   But in the dream itself, I was really mad and couldn’t control my rage and envy.  I don’t really know why, unless I’m still harboring anger toward him.  Or maybe just anger in general.

I don’t want to become bitter and full of hate.

No-Lord-No
Credit: lynnmosher.com

I’m dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions right now in the wake of my dad’s passing, and rage is probably the dominant emotion I’m trying to process. Not rage at my dad per se, but rage at every narcissist I ever knew starting from the time I was a small child, making my life hell. For those of you who have read my recent posts, you might have noticed the increase in anger I’ve been expressing toward narcissists in general. My posts this week sound a lot like my early posts on this blog, during the first few months after I went NC with my ex.

Rage, anger, and even hatred can be useful, even necessary, when you’re going No Contact. Your survival is at stake. Your anger gives you the courage to escape and overrides any fear that may keep you in thrall to your narcissist. But beyond that, it begins to eat away at your soul and eventually can turn YOU into a narcissist. I’ve seen that happen so many times and it’s tragic. I’ve written about this phenomenon numerous times on this blog so I won’t do so again.

I bring this up because my writing lately seems to reflect a return to a narc-hating mindset. I don’t find hating narcissists helpful, personally. I find it more helpful (for myself anyway) to think of them as a different kind of victim, a type of victim that other victims have trouble understanding because their behavior is so predatory and sometimes incomprehensible. Thinking of them in this way seems to give them less power over me and makes me less afraid.

I don’t want to become an embittered, angry, hate-filled person. I don’t want hatred to take over my battered but still intact soul. I don’t want narc-hatred to turn me into a narcissist. This doesn’t mean I forgive the narcissists in my life for what they have done to me; but I do want to attempt to understand why they do the things they do. I want to understand how and why they became that way. It’s important for me emotionally to do this; being able to understand or at least try to helps me heal.

I know the rage and hate I feel right now is out of character for me, but all my emotions are in turmoil following my father’s passing. I pray that this too will pass and I can return to understanding narcissists without condoning or enabling. I still pray for their deliverance and always will.

Matthew 5:43-48:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? …

Do we give “the narcs” more power than they deserve?

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In my last post, I ranted about a few bloggers that targeted me when I began to move on from my righteous anger at what my narcissistic parents and ex did to me.  About a year ago, I reached a point where my rage at “the narcs” was no longer serving me well. I began to see things in a new way–that my narcissists were victims themselves and that’s why they became so abusive.   These bloggers didn’t like that.  As far as they were concerned, I was a traitor to the narc-abuse community  as well as a narc-sympathizer. They told me I was evil and going to hell.

But that’s also when I began to see myself a lot more clearly and realized what I needed to do to begin to heal.  Why? Because while righteous anger is good and healthy when you’re trying to go No Contact or get away from abusers, once it no longer serves that purpose and you have gone No Contact, all that rage has nowhere to go.  At that point it becomes hatred and begins to poison your soul. And there isn’t anything more toxic to healing than hatred. These bloggers have become so trapped in their rage it has poisoned their souls and they have become what they hate. Unfortunately for them, they are utterly blind to it.

When I began this blog, I was a lot more angry at my narcissists, and narcissists in general. If you read some of my early posts (within the first year or so), you will notice a lot more rage and even hatred toward narcissists than in my later posts. As long as I remained in that anger, I was A-OK with these bloggers. And at the time, that anger was healthy. It was how I processed the whole experience of being an abuse victim, and it validated my decision to go No Contact. It wasn’t a bad thing and I don’t regret it. But at some point, I began to chafe at the constant narc-bashing I saw, and wondered if perhaps “the narcs” were being given more power than they actually deserve.

I’m going to make an analogy here, because it ties right into this idea. I can’t embrace fundamentalist religion for a number of reasons, but here is one of them: some fundamentalists (not just Christians, but Muslims too, and really, fundamentalist anything) gives the entity commonly known as the devil or Satan a lot more power than he/it deserves. They seem to equate his power with that of God. They tell us the world is under Satan’s dominion and we must repent and believe exactly as they do or we’re going to hell. They tell us Satan planted scientific evidence that indicates evolution exists (which means he somehow got bones into the ground that looked half-human, half-ape.) They tell us he brought every bad thing that exists to the world–disease, famine, death, war, you name it. They tell us God has allowed this because of “free will.” They quote the Bible (or Q’uran, or whatever–to back their claims). But if Satan exists at all, he’s merely a fallen angel–with about the same amount of power as Michael, the archangel–he doesn’t even come close to God’s level of might. Would Michael be able to do what God does? Would he be able to create life and rule the universe? Of course not–the idea of it is laughable. To give the devil that much power is an insult to God, in my opinion. In fact, God himself created Satan!

The power some religious people give Satan causes a lot of people to fear God because God seems to exist solely to punish humanity (who “disappointed” him by sinning) for giving in to or being fooled by “the adversary.” The whole God vs. Devil argument seems like an enormous cosmic opera, with God continuously waging war with this all-powerful entity who represents evil to God’s goodness–but in the end, God’s behavior is just as “evil” as Satan’s–judgmental, authoritarian, punishing, jealous, and controlling. In fact, I would say that God acts quite a lot like a…malignant narcissist. People have turned away from religion or are put off by it because of this punishing, negative view of God as Holy Avenger. And among those who embrace it, how many are doing so out of fear, and not out of genuine love for God? If your father was an authoritarian, punishing parent, you may “love” him but you will never be able to have a healthy relationship with him. You probably did what he said because you HAD to, not because you wanted to. You feared his wrath if you did not. You find it difficult to be happy or grow into a loving, joyful person with a satisfying life and relationships because your father’s wrath and judgment became internalized. It continues its live on inside you, as an inner critic that continues the abuse in the form of self-abuse. I think that’s often the case with fundamentalist religion too. It’s nothing more than brain-washing and negative programming whose intent is to frighten and control.  What sort of God would even WANT his creations (who he holds in contempt for even questioning that might) to quake in terror at his presence?  A narcissistic God who craves power and control, that’s who.

The point of this isn’t to make a point about religion, though (that’s a whole other post I will probably never write). Many narcissistic abuse survivors talk about narcissists as if they were actual demons. They talk about them having almost supernatural powers over the rest of us. Yes, it’s true, their behavior is dangerous and can destroy the souls of those they abuse. But they don’t have any more real power than anyone else. They are broken people, not devils. Their brokenness is what causes them to abuse others. In their own minds, I don’t think (in most cases) they actually know what they’re doing. In their own minds, they may even think what they do is the right thing–or they don’t think about it at all. They are incapable of seeing their own narcissism and how it destroys.

Some narcissists are sociopathic and actually take pleasure in hurting others. But I think that only applies to those at the top of the spectrum–the ones who have turned malignant. Most narcs are simply unaware of the way their behavior impacts others. It was programmed into them just as surely as many victims were programmed to remain victimized throughout their lives.

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Narcissists are emotionally retarded, so much so they are incapable of having enough empathy to be able to stop playing out the elaborate (and mostly useless) defense mechanisms they constructed to protect themselves. They aren’t devils and don’t have any real supernatural powers; they are merely blind and stupid. Dangerous? No doubt they are, and it’s always best to go No Contact. An angry rhinocerous charging toward you isn’t evil; it’s just doing what nature has programmed it to do. It defends itself by attacking even though you mean it no harm, because that’s in its nature and it assumes you will attack first. While the rhino isn’t evil and doesn’t get its thrills from watching you bleed to death, it does what it does and it’s best to get as far away as you can. Same thing with a narc, who (unless they have become malignant or sociopathic) isn’t evil; he or she is reacting to internal programming that was probably instilled when they were very young and defenseless. In their emotional stupidity and blindness, they think you are going to attack them (or think you are already attacking them), so they instinctively jump on the offense and launch “pre-emptive” counterattacks on you. They lie to themselves about your intentions AND their own (and I think most of them actually convince themselves these lies are the truth). They may even even think what they do is “for your own good.” Just like that authoritarian, punishing father or that judgmental, angry, jealous God.

So what’s so wrong about thinking narcissists are evil and have supernatural powers or are possessed by demons? After all, they do act pretty evil. They nearly destroyed us with their abuse. They made us incapable of living happy, normal lives or developing any self esteem. Thinking of narcissists as these powerful evil entities from the depths of hell is natural when you realize what you’ve been up against and what their actions did to you. The righteous anger you feel also helps you get away from them. I think at first, thinking of narcissists as having that much power is a healthy thing because it gives you the motivation to remove them from your life. Here’s the problem with it though. Righteous anger isn’t meant to be permanent. It’s a fight-flight response that ensures survival, but when the danger has passed (and you know your going No Contact was justified), it becomes bad for both body and soul. Besides building up unhealthy levels of cortisol (the fight-flight hormone) in the blood that can lead to physical illness, never-ending rage in the absence of an enemy has nowhere to go but inward–or turn itself on innocent people. It becomes hatred and hatred will eventually destroy its bearer. You begin to see “the enemy” everywhere and are constantly on the offense/defense against real or not-so-real monsters. You begin to see narcissism everywhere, even in normal human behavior. You live in paranoia and terror and the world seems like a hostile, evil place. Your fear of supernatural and uncontrollable forces beyond anyone’s control (even God’s) can even cause you to become a narcissist yourself, in self defense.

acceptance

You can’t heal until you can let go of that rage. That doesn’t mean enabling a narcissist or staying in contact with them. But it means moving on and letting go of hatred. At some point in my healing journey, I was no longer able to hang onto my rage. I began to see them as victims too. Of course, this was heresy to some of the narc-abuse bloggers. But by thinking of them this way, they held a lot less power over me. I became less afraid. You can’t feel terrified of something that is pitiful and broken, and by seeing them as pathetic, toothless victims who were crippled emotionally, they seemed sort of…powerless. It wasn’t until I was able to do this that I began to turn my attention in toward myself–and what I could do to change me. If you’re constantly slaying dragons, you can’t have self-awareness because there’s no room for it. In your mind, if you stop fighting, you will be killed. What people don’t realize is that if you never put down that sword, even after the dragons have disappeared, you turn that sword on yourself.

Narcissistic abusers want you to be afraid. They want unlimited power. They want to control your mind even when they’re not there. So, to hold onto hatred (which is fueled by fear, so there is always terror present wherever hatred exists) is really just giving them what they want–control over your mind and soul. Ironically, thinking of them as broken people is the opposite of enabling them. What would a narcissist hate the most? Being seen as pitiful, impotent, powerless, broken, emotionally retarded people. It’s really the only way you can begin to undo the negative programming that keeps you trapped in fear and keeps you from growing into a whole person. It’s also the best revenge, because then you can thrive in spite of their efforts to keep you down.

Triggered.

Depression (1)

Some days are better than others. Overall, they are getting better and better, but there are days where I feel like I took three steps back and get trapped in my old toxic emotional thinking patterns. At those times I feel like I’m trapped inside a dark, moldy prison with no one but my own demons to talk to and will never be able to escape. I know that’s not true, and tomorrow will probably be better, but right now, at this moment, I’m in immense emotional pain.  I feel like if I died and went to hell, it wouldn’t much worse than this. I can’t just turn the pain off with a switch, the way the narcissists in my life seemed to expect me to be able to do.

I got triggered. At least I know what the trigger is. Today is my daughter’s birthday, and we were planning to drive up into the mountains and have lunch together. She was supposed to be here around 10 AM. But by eleven AM I still hadn’t heard from her. I began to panic and imagine some kind of catastrophe befell her, the way I always do because the world has always seemed incredibly dangerous to me and no one can be trusted.     You never know when you’re going to get bad news or when the other shoe will drop.  It’s a horrible way to live and I definitely don’t recommend it.   But it’s in my programming.   People think I’m nuts but I can’t help being this way.   It’s hard to change the programming.

Around noon, I finally got hold of her and she hadn’t gotten out of bed yet. She was hung over from a night of partying and she was also depressed. All I could think about was myself and what SHE was doing to ME. I told her I’d been looking forward to this and I’d taken the day off work to spend with her. She told me I was putting her on a guilt trip and she was right–I was. I apologized and told her to try to have a nice day and we’d get together another time. But I still felt triggered  and ornery.  I’d written a nice, positive post this morning about the fun day I was anticipating having with her, and what a great daughter she was, but I couldn’t bear to keep it up, so I removed it.

I spent the rest of the day alternately feeling sorry for myself and being angry. I did nothing but sit on the couch, switching channels mindlessly but not really watching anything, and poking around online but not really paying much attention to what I was looking at. I tried to read a little, but couldn’t focus and would keep reading the same sentence over and over, not comprehending the words. I yelled at my cat for no good reason. I snapped at my housemate. I thought about how much my life and everything in it sucks and how I’m not getting any younger and will probably be dead in the next 25 or 30 years with nothing to show for it.   I thought about how most people my age and even much younger are doing much better than me emotionally, financially, and every other way. They have healthy, real relationships because they were given the emotional tools to have those things.  My programming cut me off from having access to those things.   Of course I was constantly reminded of my inferiority by my unsupportive narcissistic family (I was rejected and labeled “the black sheep” for my failure to attain the “success” in life my very programming denied me) until I cut off almost all contact with them.  I was cruelly told to “sink or swim” but never given any swimming lessons and in fact spent most of my childhood with my head forcefully held under the water. That’s the sort of mindfuck you get when you’re the child of narcissists. You can’t win. You can only lose–and then you’re callously blamed for it. Sometimes you’re even disowned for it. I’ve been treading water–barely–for years, in constant fear of drowning.

The rain stopped and the sun is shining but I have no motivation to even go sit outside on the porch. All I want to do is stew in self pity and self hatred. Why? What good does it do? I hate it. Angry and bitter? You bet. But I refuse to drown in those feelings because I still hold onto hope that I can be a real person someday. I won’t give up on me, even though the people who were supposed to love me unconditionally did.

Finally I got a call from my daughter apologizing to me. She was crying. I felt so terrible. She told me how depressed she was and it sounded a lot like my own depression. She was talking about all the bad choices she’s made. She feels badly because some friends she went to school with are starting families or are getting advanced degrees or have careers and she has none of those things. But she’s just 23.  She blames herself. I could relate. I tried to be empathetic and not think about the way I feel very much in the same boat–only I’m a lot older and don’t have my whole life ahead of me or the options she still does. I assured her that she may be a late bloomer but that she is blooming and to be patient with herself. I may never be a perfect mom, but I will never give up on her or abandon her the way my family did to me, because it’s not something you ever get over. It ruins you. It murders your soul. I won’t let her soul be murdered.

Sorry this post wasn’t more upbeat. But I’m just really depressed today and needed to write about it. It doesn’t help to keep this crap inside.  

Guest Post #1: When My World Shattered

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Credit: Unknown artist, Favim.com

I’m thrilled to introduce my first guest blogger, Tessa from Advocate for Mental Illness.   Her blog is about her daily struggles with Bipolar disorder, told from a Christian perspective.  She has recently given her life to Jesus Christ.  Here is her bio from her About page:

ABOUT TESSA

Teresa (Tessa) Smeigh is over 55 and still going strong despite her disabilities affecting both physical and mental abilities. She has bipolar disorder (mental), Fibromyalgia (nerves), degenerative disc disease (spine), and arthritis (joints). Despite that she is active in Mental Health Advocating, writing for http://www.IBPF.org (volunteer for non-profit) and has 5 blog posts already published by them. She is also working on 2 fiction books (mysteries). She keeps her blog filled with useful content, daily devotionals (She is a Christian), stories and poems. Plenty to keep you busy. She has also been interviewed by blogs and had other posts published on many different blogs. She has 2 blogs so far http://www.tessacandoit.com and http://www.finallyawriter.com She is from Deptford, NJ. Her family and blogs keep her busy.
Although she doesn’t focus on it in her blog, Tessa also has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and complex PTSD.  I have asked her to write a guest post about having BPD, because none of my other guest bloggers are writing about BPD but I already have several who will be writing about Bipolar and complex PTSD.
Here is her guest post.
When My World Shattered!
I am a 59 year old female who has suffered mental health conditions since birth. Since I was born in the 50’s people didn’t talk about mental health. Even with a suicide in the family it was not talked about.
As an infant I took anxiety medication in order to keep food in my stomach. I was considered to have a “nervous stomach.” My mother kept a supply of anxiety medicine at hand all through my childhood because anything could set me off into an “anxiety episode” and hysteria. This was common throughout my childhood. My self-soothing unfortunately was considered self-harm by today’s standards.
At a very young age I developed signs of bipolar disorder which at the time we did not know. I got an official diagnosis in my early 30’s after a breakdown. Also by the same procedure, a hospital stay almost 4 years ago picked up on the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and I followed the symptoms back to when I was a child as well, but a little bit later than the bipolar.
Bipolar disorder and BPD are similar in symptoms and are often misdiagnosed. I have officially now been diagnosed with both. The biggest difference between the two is the length between the mood swings. Since my mood swings as a very young child were months apart it is most likely the bipolar disorder started first. Then later when the BPD developed they became rapid even changing during a single day or even hour.
It is difficult to break the symptoms down and say this belongs to bipolar disorder and this belongs to BPD. I will just go into the symptoms I suffer as one. Which is the direct cause, is not really necessary to know at this point.
How about a little history on BPD?
Symptoms usually manifest in childhood, but don’t become serious until a person becomes a young adult. This fits close to my time-line. Only I figure mine started in my teens after a traumatic experience of having been almost raped twice by the time I was 15 years old. I was then emotionally raped at 17 years old where I was told by the young man that either we had sex at that point or he was leaving me (abandonment considered to play a role in BPD) and we had just gotten back together. I couldn’t let him go. I gave in and that was also traumatic. I wasn’t ready. During that time I also suffered a miscarriage although I really didn’t know it at the time. I was totally naive even though my low self-esteem led me to wear sexy clothing and flaunt my body to every man. I didn’t know why I did it. I craved that attention though (promiscuity).
The exact cause of BPD is not know though they suspect brain chemistry plays a role, also genetics and environmental factors, along with the possibility of childhood trauma.
To add to the trauma, the 17 year old played the “I am going to kill myself if you don’t marry me” game when I tried to break up our relationship. I felt stuck, my emotions caused me to give in and marry him. I didn’t love him, but I was married at 19 years old. At 21 I had my first child, 22 I had my second and by 30 I had three children.  By then my weight was out of control due to binge eating.
My self-harm became more severe although I did resist cutting after I tried it and felt it didn’t give me the feelings I needed to soothe myself.
My anger intensified, but I kept it inside. I did not explode into rages unless you really pushed me but those rages were severe. People didn’t listen to my warnings and I flew into rages, shocking people with their intensity.
Paranoia became a constant state of my life. I am always sure people are talking about me. Even today.
Dissociation has been a constant since childhood. I always daydreamed and put myself into my books. I loved to read and my parents would force me outside. That triggered my anxiety and panic.
Severe depression for months on end would cause suicidal thoughts and several attempts and the last one landed me in the hospital for treatment and intense therapy. Luckily I didn’t succeed. The last one was the most serious.
I am currently in severe financial poverty due to low disability payments and reckless spending while I was manic.  Manic episodes are currently considered a symptom of both bipolar disorder and BPD.
I also have had a lot of unsafe sex due to my promiscuity, which is another shared trait.
BPD is difficult to treat. Usually a therapist, especially one trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) or CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), combined with medications such as anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and mood stabilizers will help tone down the symptoms.
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Please visit Tessa’s blog here. 
My apologies about the wonky spacing.  WP isn’t letting me change the coding and I don’t know CSS.  I hope that doesn’t affect anyone’s reading experience!

“If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline”

littlegirlwithacurl

People with BPD, like all the Cluster B disorders, can at times seem demonic, especially when raging. I used to have these episodes of uncontrolled rage, in which I’d dissociate pretty severely. It was as if an actual demon inside me was unleashed and I couldn’t control my actions or my words, even though I knew I’d wind up regretting it and apologizing profusely hours later, hanging my head in shame. I think these rage episodes scared me as much as they scared everyone else, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about them. They were far too big for me to handle. Although no one ever told me I looked “evil,” I probably did during these episodes.

DBT and mindfulness tricks helped me get things under control, but I do seem to have mellowed in general with age. That seems to happen with some BPD women (some even become spontaneously “cured” after their childbearing years end), which makes me wonder if BPD is really a personality disorder at all, or something more biochemical. Since abuse or neglect in childhood is almost always present in Borderlines, maybe abuse causes brain chemistry to change for people who develop it, and this affects the female hormones in some way.

The emotional numbness is still there, but that’s nothing new–and it could be my PTSD rather than BPD. “Zombie” used to be my default setting in between rages so severe I seemed possessed. With increasing self awareness I’m becoming more able to access real emotions without losing control. The emotional numbness is lessening but the rages of my younger years have not returned. I’m not sure which emotions are still under wraps but I think it’s closer to sadness over some undefinable loss than rage.

This article accurately describes the Borderline’s ever-shifting emotional extremes and just how black their dark moods really can be.

If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline

By Shari Schreiber, M.A.
GettinBetter.com

There was once a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good–but when she was bad, she was horrid.

My other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder speak to elements in the Borderline that seduce you and keep you enraptured, despite their push-pull emotional gymnastics, disruptive come here/go away cycles, and confusing, crazy-making behaviors. This piece exposes the volatile, frightening dark side of this individual who has gotten you under their spell and won’t let you go, but also uncovers the root cause of these issues. There’s a comprehensive list of features/traits at the bottom, which can help you determine if you’re involved with someone who has BPD–or it may serve as a self-diagnostic tool.

While many BPD people have killer looks, not all Borderlines are beautiful or handsome–but that doesn’t make them any less seductive or diabolical. It’s much easier for a great looking man or woman to find continuous streams of narcissistic supply via adulation and romantic pursuit from others, and until this ego fuel isn’t obtainable, they won’t consider therapy. Why should they? Humans don’t change, until what they’ve been doing doesn’t work for them anymore–or they’re in enough pain, to re-direct their energies and efforts toward seeking the help they need to get truly well.

Read the rest of this article here.

Introverts fear confrontation.

youre_fired

I came across this individual’s forum post on The Personality Cafe in a weird way. My article “Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims,” (which has become my most viewed article ever and is still gaining momentum on the web), was linked to by this writer and there was an excerpt from their own post left in my comment folder. The blurb was intriguing enough that I decided to read it, and holy cow! It sounds like my own life story. In fact, I am going through this situation with a friend even as I write this. (If you’re a friend of mine reading this it’s not you–this “friend” doesn’t read my blog or even know I have one). I don’t want to be friends with this person anymore (who I suspect is a malignant narcissist who likes to “play” with me and make “jokes” at my expense) but instead of confronting them and telling them I want to end our friendship, I’m just avoiding this person, hoping they get the “hint.” I do that sort of thing all the time. Confrontation terrifies me, but what happens is my anger becomes seething resentment and has to come out eventually, so after weeks or months of pretending everything is fine, I’m likely to explode and say things I regret. It also comes out in other ways, like acting passive-aggressive. I’ve gotten better but it’s still a problem. Anyway, here is that article. The writer is an INFJ like me and wonders if this is common in INFJs. I’m also an Enneagram Type 4/5.

If we need to slap a psychiatric label on this sort of behavior, it’s a common symptom in people with Avoidant Personality Disorder and Covert Narcissism (which I still suspect I am, even though my therapist has said I’m only “on the spectrum” but not NPD). I think people with BPD are also guilty of this.

passive_aggression

Has anyone else had this problem in the “social environment”?

As of recently I have made a personal discovery about the origins of how and why I have a certain fear. And it also ties in with the Enneagram 4 labeled fear “that they have no identity or personal significance”. Generally, with “friends” (both close and acquaintance) I tend to hide away or become afraid of sharing my true thoughts and being completely honest with them if there’s a problem (unless they manage to hurt me to the extent that i just cut them off). I become fearful of their reaction before it even happens, so i withhold my thoughts and continue acting as if everything is okay. It’s not only the fear that they will be upset at my honesty, but the fear that I would also begin to hate myself afterwards as well. I didn’t realize there was a term for this as well (even though i knew it as a common term i never understood its meaning). And that term is “Shame”. And while shame is the major factor of why i feel guilt for wanting to speak out, as well as feeling it for not wanting to speak out, I had also come to realize this was also connected to my upbringing. I learned in the article mentioned below, that most scapegoats have high empathy and sensitivity at an early age, which causes them to absorb all of the projections of their parents, thus causing the birth of self hatred/possibly depression. It also informed me that as they continue to go into social relationships, that they will also absorb the projections of what other people think of them as well. For me this explains a helluva lot, of why i fear getting close to certain people and their impact on me if i either

A. Do something wrong.
Or
B. Be honest with them.

I’m personally terrified of being completely honest with someone i’m not sure of, as any kind of minor negative backlash towards me can cause me to go in a state of guilt for a long time. So instead I internalize everything that bothers me about them, and I simply play my part in this “friendship” until i have a reason to avoid them or doorslam. And this is different from constructive criticism, i’m talking about the consequences that may occur if they end up being hurt by my honesty. While their take of it may not be my problem afterward I still hold the shame of what I have done to another human being, even if it was the “right” thing to do rather than continue being dishonest with them and put on the fake persona. I fear hurting them..but I also fear hurting myself. It’s a double edged sword and the ending remains the same regardless of which way i act. I’m fearful of absorbing any new projections one might have of me (specifically negative) which has caused a spiral of paranoia in 2/3 of my friendships, even if they may not take it personal. And before I end this, I am not intentionally hurtful when i’m honest, as I still try to be polite and respectful of the person that i’m talking to. I am also aware that they can be positive in their response, but i’m practically crippled by my fear, especially because of social experiences that didn’t go well.

Read article on The Personality Cafe here.

My scarlet letter.