Learning to accept myself: Guilt and Shame

Learning to accept myself: Guilt and Shame

As I said in my previous post, I’m going to be working on guilt & shame, which are subjects that drive me crazy, I punish myself regularly with these emotions and I seem to take responsibility for everyone else actions in a ‘it must be me, it usually is’ or ‘it’s me who pushes people to act like they do’ ‘it’s all my fault’ which leads to more self hate, punishment and sometimes self harm or self destruct.

I would say it take’s over a lot of my life on a daily basis, it affects how I treat people and how I treat myself. I often feel guilt over things completely out of my control and yet it stays with me for hours, sometimes days, at a time.  I have found a really useful explanation for people who are experiencing BPD and feelings of guilt which I have added below. Reading this kind of puts it into perspective for me, sometimes it just takes that one explanation or someone elses view to have that light-bulb moment when things make more sense. Until I understand myself, I cannot begin to accept and learn to cope, so I am starting by doing my research into these feelings and why they play such a huge part of my life and create so much self-loathing.

It is normal to sometimes have feelings of guilt because mistakes are made, and shame sometimes because behaviours and character traits may be in need of correction. But in cases of BPD, feelings of guilt and shame tend to take on a type of permanence rather than transience. In other words, it can be very hard for a person with BPD to let go of past experiences and mistakes, and likewise to stop feeling guilty and ashamed for things that didn’t go well.

A person with BPD can get into the habit of reflecting on past mistakes made while attempting to deal with situations, including how he has hurt self or others (such as having big blowups or impulsively acting out) – resulting in guilty feelings. He may also make a habit of noticing the repetitious nature of his mistakes and remembering the judgements made by others about his behaviour – resulting in shame feelings.  Habit sometimes turns into preoccupation with past mistakes so that guilt and shame feelings are re-experienced over and over again. It becomes a problem because the guilt and shame are never put into their proper perspective or considered for their relevance to the present moment.

Some of the reasons for this  are that a person with BPD doesn’t want to have more bad moments, hurt anyone, or continue feeling the awful guilt and shame. But of course, the guilt and shame are re-experienced anyways because of the recollection of events.

The way a person with BPD experiences guilt and shame is different because of the way he has been conditioned to think about himself, his experiences with others, and his place in the world. He has learned that things tend to go wrong for him and that people tend to blame and judge him for the way he reacts/overreacts. He has been in trouble, corrected and criticised so much that he tends to believe that the world is against him. He doesn’t yet know why it works this way, but he is making many assumptions (having bad thoughts about self).

The manner and extent to which a person with BPD experiences guilt and shame feelings is therefore exaggerated and inappropriate because he does not yet understand himself or his illness. Likewise, he doesn’t understand his developmental vulnerabilities or the significance of his childhood. He doesn’t yet know that he can’t manage his disorder without the necessary knowledge and skills. He believes he “should have known better” and that there is no excuse for his errors. He sets his own trap for repeat feelings of guilt and shame.

Then there is the tendency to react to his self-induced guilt and shame, adding further fuel to the fire, as others become baffled and annoyed by his faulty logic and respond by invalidating his feelings. He is upset and in trouble once more as others don’t understand where his reactions are coming from. These kinds of experiences add yet another “piece of evidence” to his belief that he is always at fault, always annoys, always hurts, or is always a burden on others.

Indeed it is a sad thing, but a person with BPD will habitually torture himself by inducing guilt and shame feelings through his own thinking style, even when it isn’t necessary. He can’t let things go. When things happen, he will personalise the situation and automatically assume he is at fault because he has been “at fault” so many times in the past. He can’t stop personalising. He will react to his own emotions and set off reactions in others, and therefore repeat the cycle over and over again. He can’t stop reacting.

When feelings like guilt and shame are felt unnecessarily (when it doesn’t really make sense to feel that way given the circumstances), this is when the feelings could properly be labelled as “misplaced”.

 

This is one of the keys to overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder… learning to become mindful of misplaced guilt and shame, learning to let it go, and learning to replace the misplaced guilt and shame with something more fitting to the situation.

 

Source; written by Peter Miller at http://www.breakawaymhe.com

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Not everything that is faced can be changed, But nothing can be changed until its faced.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, But nothing can be changed until its faced.

It’s been a bittersweet month, I have had the saddest couple of weeks and the happiest, it’s a roller-coaster. I feel like what I can only relate to as a grieving process and it’s been exceptionally hard for me, although I have my partner and people around me I feel isolated, alone & misunderstood by  the people I love the most. It has been frustrating yet I have also had the most amazing time of my life with my partner who I finally a sense of belonging with, but my inability to cope with my BPD has become a huge burden.

I have recently been struggling and have relapsed, my family don’t know much about it or the extent of it or how it affects my daily life and I know they will never understand, I will never let them into that part of my life or show them those vulnerabilities. I feel sometimes when I do, it is used against me.  Other people seem to think everything is simple and I should just be grateful for what I have and not make things so complicated. I know it’s not as simple as that, my life with BPD and other mental heath problems, along with normal daily struggles &  everyday stresses is very complex.

I see things differently from others, I try so hard and I’m trying to learn how to accept not everybody loves and feels with the intensity like I do because of my BPD, not everyone has that intense empathy. I have come to realise my close relationships are no longer what I thought they once were, my place in my family isn’t what I thought it should be. I have always felt like I didn’t belong, I know they love me very much and If I needed them they would be there and I am grateful for this.

But realistically, I have come to see that they have totally different morals and priorities to me and how I thought we were meant to be with each other and that the loyalty and protection I offer, is sometime just one way.

I know that for myself I need to let go, to stop trying to be the one that is there for everyone as that way I will not feel let down when I don’t get the same treatment. I am trying to understand that sometimes my care and affection is not wanted nor my need to care recognised. I have had a false sense of my relationships and have struggled between what they are and what I want them to be. I definitely know that  I’m not the easiest person to love or to be around, but this confusion has caused me a lot of pain and more so recently, I am trying to learn how to deal with it.

As time has gone on and more things have happened with people I care about leaving me feel let down time and time again, or dismissing my feelings, putting other family members or loved ones before me but expecting me to put them first, I have begun to feel on the outside, invisible, sometimes excluded from the close bonds that formed between them.

They all seem to have some loyalty to certain others and hold them on a pedestal. No matter how much I go out of my way to try to keep them involved in my life, it is often thrown back in my face. If there is a problem, I will go out of my way to care for them and make them happy and sacrifice things, putting their feelings first, without them even knowing it because that’s just the way I was made, though its causing me more distress as time goes on.

Apparently because I have made an independent life for myself and put on a mask, some people seem to think I don’t need them as much as they need each other, which is hurtful. Sometimes this means I need them more. I know how pathetic that sounds but my need for reassurance and my constant craving to feel needed and wanted pains me and the loyalty I have for them is not returned.

I have  tried to snap out of feeling isolated, but kept noticing that they weren’t drawn to me at all, didn’t care about important occasions in my life, like they do for other members of the family and that my feeling, thoughts and needs didn’t seem to count.

Finally the dam broke on this trip away and I have spoken up about it a little bit to the family I am travelling with when there was a disagreement, but they reacted defensively, refusing to admit that when problems or misunderstanding arise that they were being unreasonable, accepting that their actions or reactions were a part of the problem or unnecessarily taking sides when it wasnt needed. I told them they were dismissing my feelings and I feel like they are pushing me out and protecting each other, it’s not always  me to blame though I wear my guilt on my sleeve and I take responsibility when I’m at fault.

This may seem a selfish way for me to react, but I feel for now, it is justified as it’s the final straw for me, everybody has their limits and to save my own sanity these issues need to be addressed. Expectation really has always been the root of my heartache.

But at home there is a lot that remains unsaid, I cannot carry on to always be the one that is always holding out the olive branch or trying to make an effort, whether right or wrong, ignoring my own feelings for the sake of someone else. Though I’m sure this will make me the bad guy when I do finally explode and I will then suffer from hearing the ‘typical her’ ‘ here we go again’ ‘just ignore her, she’s in one of her moods’

I have started to see things in others that I have chosen not to acknowledge before now. Selfishness, greed, ignorance and a lack of empathy and unwillingness to voluntarily help others. Which are things I cannot always relate to, because I tend to have the opposite of  these traits.

The dispute between my close ones has intensified as I continue to be defensive, I have felt evermore criticised and rejected. There has been a lot of things that have happened throughout my life, lots of rejection and situations that have led to this point.

Fed up,  I have given in and have started to snap and make people aware of their behaviours and that they are hurting me.  The hypersensitivity that BPD has then resulted in outbursts as I have let things build up, the hurt and the from those close to me that don’t love or think like I do and leads to feelings of rejection and isolation and in turn the focus becomes on my frustration and angry outburst which makes it difficult for me to address the initial problem and makes it easier for me and my mental health to become the blame for all problems, this then sets the stage for further sadness, anger, and fears of abandonment, which perpetuate the cycle of rejection and hostility.

My initial reaction is to cut everyone off, but I love my family and I know they love me, so for now I need to take a step back and get to grips with the way they are, I don’t have to like the way they choose to live or be to love them and vice versa.

We all don’t have to get on all the time. The times they have been their for me and helped me through or supported me, do not go unnoticed, I have had more crisis’ to deal with than your average person and I know that being there for me can becoming tiring. I am not disregarding that and as I’ve said before, I love my close ones dearly and I am certain that they love me to, that has never been in question. I have been trying to understand splitting more in order to help me understand the difference in how I view certain relationships.

Splitting is a very common defence mechanism in people with BPD, leading sufferers to view others, themselves and life events in all or nothing terms. Because of splitting, it is difficult for individuals with BPD to recognise that good people sometimes do things imperfectly or make mistakes. The experience of splitting is very confusing and frustrating for people with BPD and their loved ones. Splitting can interfere with relationships and work life, and can lead to intense anger and self-destructive behaviours.

I’m not ashamed to admit I have sought more help, I am back in the service and I  have begun seeing a new psychologist and I am looking forward to working with her as It’s not often that you can find someone to work with, who you can trust and relate to. I wanted to pen (or type) the things that I will be working on, I used to research and write more often and it helped me make sense of my jumble thoughts in my head causing me so much suffering and confusion, I haven’t slept for the last 2 nights so I thought I’d come back to my blog to help me vent and to gain a better understanding of why I may be feeling this way and how I am reacting to certain circumstances and situations that I am currently struggling with in my life in order for me to move on.

I will be publishing a number of subjects which I will be working on, and publishing my finding, so that I can draw on them when I need them.

These are some of the subjects I will be looking into that will hopefully help me overcome my latest difficulty:

  • Guilt & Shame
  • Complex Trauma and Secondary Trauma
  • Splitting
  • Acceptance

 

 

You Have 2 Hands. One To Help Yourself. One To Help Others #worldhomelessday

You Have 2 Hands. One To Help Yourself. One To Help Others #worldhomelessday

As well and World Mental Health Day, Today Is World Homeless Day Too.

The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.

I want to help to make a difference this winter. I know a local charity in my area called Making Winter Warmer, they are they most caring, giving, selfless group of people I have ever come across. They difference they make each week is remarkable. I have decided to join in and give something to a cause that can make such a huge difference to the lives of the homeless on our streets.

Making Winter Warmer is relaunching its Christmas ‘Kindness Pack’ Appeal and ‘Selection Box’ Appeal ♡

‘As the nights get colder and spirits run low lets help create positivity for those less fortunate than ourselves. Our Street Friends certainly deserve a treat and there’s nobody better to ask than all of you supportive and wonderful #MWW friends!’

Can you help? If you are not local to this project, look out for other projects in your area.

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All of the details are on the poster above. Please stick to the suggested list ( They have a mass amount of toothpaste/brushes and will be added by them at base) and items must be placed in a clear zip lock bag, this way we can cut down time on checking the packs and our friends can reuse the bag to keep items safe and weatherproof.14606441_10154581278209813_5586546120356193677_n

World Mental Health Day 2016 & Me.

World Mental Health Day 2016 & Me.

Today is World Mental Health Day, his year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress.

It’s also a difficult time of year for me. This time 4 years ago I had just faced that dreaded court case and had been on the stand to testify against the man that abused me as a child. For the past week I have been thrown back to that time, having flashbacks and panic attacks. Remembering the waiting, feeling the pain, anxiety and worry about standing there, then being made out to be a liar by the defence, trying to rip me apart as I answered every question to the best of my knowledge, then again the waiting. The unknown. Will he be found guilty? Will it all be over soon?

He was found guilty, yet It is still not over, will it ever be? The relief I feel when he was found guilty was remarkable, but 4 years on, I’m now getting support and treatment to work on the secondary trauma, caused by the court case.

My life with BPD is a struggle every day, yet lately I have had so many stressful problems, that I’m finding it very difficult to cope. I have self harmed, I have felt like I can’t go on, I have cried myself to sleep, I feel frustrated and angry. Then the following day I feel ashamed, embarrassed, how can I keep losing control? What will my boyfriend be thinking? there they are..The paranoid thoughts. The insecurities.

What do I do? I put on my mask and I turn on my auto pilot on and I do my best to get on with my day, I smile as I have lots to smile about, I have a lovely home a loving relationship, a beautiful daughter, things to look forward to. I try and be positive, I have no other option.  Yet inside I’m screaming, my head is spinning and I’m trying my best to contain it all.

Like a swan calmly gliding through life on the surface, but underneath I am chaotically paddling like hell!

What can you do if you are suffering from mental health issues?

Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you are no longer able to manage things on your own. Many people feel reluctant to seek help as they feel that it is an admission of failure. This is not the case and it is important to get help as soon as possible so you can begin to get better.

The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to advise about treatment and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based approaches are known to help reduce stress. Perhaps you could google some distress tolerance and DBT. Do you research and put  a self help plan in place. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.

 

What can you do to help someone you think may be suffering from mental health issues? 

You don’t need to be an expert to talk about it. And it’s often the small things you do and say that can make a big difference to someone – like asking ‘How are you?’ or dropping them a text to say hello.

It will let them know you haven’t forgotten them and that your there if they need you.

If someone you know is experiencing mental health problems or needs urgent support, there are lots of services that you can go to for help.

You can also find out more about:

 

Life With Borderline Personality Disorder. Meet the real ME

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FheGkZBDUCo

My Suicide Project

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGI10pNNvsc

What will I be today? Job Identity. The Chameleon Effect, Another side affect of BPD.

The Indecisive mind of a borderline

A letter to Non BPD’s, from a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder

Advantages of BPD, Let’s look at the positives for a change

Common Misconceptions of BPD, Lets get a few things straight

The differences between BPD & Bipolar

36 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends to Know

36 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends to Know

Unanswered text messages. Declined invites. Missed calls. When you live with anxiety, sometimes little aspects of friendship can be hard. But that doesn’t mean people with anxiety can’t maintain friendships. And it doesn’t mean people with anxiety don’t care about their friends.

Read more at https://themighty.com/2015/11/things-people-with-anxiety-want-their-friends-to-know/

Oh Joy! Answers.

Oh Joy! Answers.

This image pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now. I’ve been lost for a few weeks, in a cycle of episodes, up, down, around, hyper, confused, anxious, excited, It’s been a real Borderline Roller Coaster but I knew that soon enough I would have an epiphany.

This happens now and again after I have these cycles of mixed emotions and feel like I’m stuck in a rut. Now that I know myself better and how my episodes and mood swings work,  I recognise the stages and I know that soon enough things will feel different.

It happened this morning, suddenly it all made sense and ideas and creativity were flowing, its been staring me in the face and I had been working towards my goals without even knowing they were my goals. I now feel excited, relieved to have found a solution to end my angst and my creative juices are flowing. I’m ready for new adventures and challenges and suddenly I  know exactly what I need to do. I have found my path and realised what my next steps are to further my career.

It feels pretty great, It’s fascinating how the Borderline mind works..passion, creativity and our ability to change are my favourite traits.

It has been suggested that Vincent Van Gogh, who famously cut off part of his own ear, and writers Ernest Hemingway and Sylvia Plath, both who took their own lives, may have suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. They are just some of many famous creative icons who supposedly struggled with BPD.

For me; I’m all about embracing the positives of this disorder. If you need me, I’ll be busy for the next few days, planning world domination..

My creative gifts are worth the mental illness, I’ve suffered for them.  

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BPD and Bi-Polar: The Differences

BPD and Bi-Polar: The Differences

Today is World Bipolar Day . World BipolarDay will be celebrated each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder.

The vision of World Bipolar Day is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day is to educate the world population about bipolar disorders that will educate and help improve sensitivity toward the illness.

As you may know I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The Similarities between BPD & Bipolar mean that they can often be confused with each other.

In this post I look into the differences between the two disorders.

Bridget Of The North

Further to my recent post Misconceptions of BPD I would like to elaborate on another common view people have on the illness, it IS NOT Bi-Polar, there is a difference, now its easy to understand why people connect the two because there are similarities, in this post I would just like to establish how the two differ for those of you who have difficulty understanding.

For one thing, they’re technically different types of disorders. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, whereas BPD is a personality disorder

BPD & Bi-Polar both feature unstable moods.

Bipolar disorder:  The person can go from depression, “the lowest of lows,” to mania, “the highest of highs,” and back again. In mania, the person could “take on the world.” They feel great, they don’t feel a need for sleep, and their activity level could wear out a three year old. (Hypomania is similar to mania, but less…

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