Pregnancy and BPD. It’s Not All Shits And Giggles

Pregnancy and BPD. It’s Not All Shits And Giggles

Last year I went through lots of tests and procedures in hospital, myself and my partner were then referred to a fertility clinic because I was told I had problems with my Fallopian tubes, because they were badly damaged and I had some other problems that were causing me a lot of pain. At one point I was told to get a hysterectomy as it’s the only way to stop the pain, I have an 11-year-old daughter but I was just 28 I didn’t want to turn off my ovaries just like that, it didn’t feel like the right thing to do even though I knew I would have to face facts that I may not be able to have another baby.  After so much bad news we received the final blow, my partner had zero sperm. We were told that I would need to lose 4 stone and pay for any further treatment as there was nothing available for us. We were devastated but we decided to accept the fact that it wasnt meant to be, we couldn’t put our relationship under that kind of tress and I had suffered after each appointment with my mental health and it was really having a big impact on the way I was feeling.

We went away in November and decided that would be it, we would come back and keep creating a better life for the 3 of us and we would travel more as its my favourite thing in the world! We booked a multi centre holiday to Thailand, Hong King & Dubai to take our minds of everything and I took time to convince myself that life would be better if i didn’t have another baby anyway, that there was so many more opportunities for us and my daughter was all grown up so we had it good,

I decided to tackle my weight, first of all my medication was a big factor in this so I started coming ff my pregabalin (lyrica) 75ml at a time, I had heard everywhere that this wasnt a good idea but my psychologist insisted this would be a great idea and I wouldn’t need it much longer anyway. She also told me not to take the anti depressant I had been given as it’s not a good idea to start a new therapy and new medication at the same time, so them being the ‘professionals’ that’s exactly what I did.

The withdrawal was horrific, weeks of pain, feeling sick, no sleep, crippling anxiety, crying, depression, I couldn’t leave the house and was an emotional wreck. I was hoping it would get better but I haven’t been the same since. a few weeks later I was still in withdrawal and my medication had been halved by this time. I decided one morning after feeling really unwell that I would take a pregnancy test, low and behold it was positive! (and so was the next one)

We couldn’t believe our luck! for the first few days it was so exciting! Then I began to worry as it was so early, I cried every time I had eaten something or done something that might affect the baby. We had a 7 week scan and it was a tiny dot. Then a few days later.. everything turned upside down.

With me already being so mentally unstable and the shock of everything, anxiety and the black cloud took over…I began to dread the whole thing, I hated myself, I hated my life and as awful as it may sound I resented the baby for making me feel this way. I was hysterical every day for weeks, I was self harming and eventually became suicidal. I was so distraught by my situation i was in the worst state I have seen myself in…probably ever actually. I cried hysterically day and night, I didn’t want to have the baby I thought it had ruined my life, I couldn’t see myself as a mother again, I couldn’t fit a baby into my life.

Deep down I kept telling myself  ‘you tried for 2 years for a baby, you must have thought a baby would fit into your life somewhere for all that time!‘ I didn’t understand why everything seemed different now, I felt doomed I was trapped as my partner was overjoyed and hasn’t got any children, so I didn’t want to hurt him but I was sure something had to give, it was a case of my sanity of the baby. Ir reached out to the mental heath team desperate for help, they made an appointment and told me to come of my medication straight away because of the pregnancy! I said that I couldn’t stop my medication, I had been so ill for weeks just reducing it and that I am suicidal so don’t think it’s the best idea, it would be more of a risk and I couldn’t possibly  feel any worse than I already did as I wouldn’t have coped.

The psychiatrist told me I shouldn’t have listened to the psychologist in the fist place with regards to medication, that it’s not her job..how was I to know that? I trusted the professionals.

I was referred to the perinatal team (Mother and Baby Mental Health Service) and was told I would be on a waiting list for 2 months before an appointment. They didn’t understand, it would be too late by then, I was ready to terminate the baby I had waited so long for. I begged and cried like never before. I was self harming more and suicidal thoughts were constant. I called the crisis team every time I was hysterical, at one point it was 3 days in a row, they promised to help me and kept referring me to the CMHT (community mental health team) who then kept repeating that the only person that could help me in the whole country was Doctor Cairns, the Perinatal doctor.

Getting through to this doctor was like purchasing rocking hose poop, it was impossible. I went on to write down all my symptoms I was experience, I was having bad  dissociation episodes and I hated every aspect of my life. To gain help I wrote out notes from an assessment that I done on myself so that I was giving them as much info as possible to allow them to help me in the best way, it was my only option.

Lets see what you make of this: Here is what I sent to them describing my feelings at the time and the hell I was going through, I was begging for help out of this hole:

My current situation 05/02/2017

 

  • Suddenly uncomfortable and unhappy in my home, I don’t want to be here anymore.
  • Hate everything about my home, have a bad feeling towards it
    Don’t want to sleep in my own bed or want to sit on my sofa – gives me an uneasy feeling
  • Smells that have been introduced to my house in the last few months trigger me to feel anxious for example a new spray we started to use – new ornaments or changes I have made to try to improve have been taken down
  • Panicking when I know I have to be in the house (after going away for the night I cried for 2 days and didn’t want tor return)
  • No pleasure in doing things
  • Coping techniques not working, cant distract myself
  • Feeling very confused and lost
  • Disconnected from everyone and everything
  • Spaced out, dissociating
  • No concentration
  • No feelings towards anyone or any excitement or other emotions just don’t feel there. I feel like there is something wrong, like I’m out of control and I don’t know myself
  • I feel like I have to move house desperately as I can’t bear to live here anymore – I loved my house a few months ago and spent a lot of time and money n it.
  • I can’t bring myself to talk about the baby or make plans
  • Scared as I don’t feel anything towards baby, I feel disconnected.
  • After trying for years and being told I was infertile, I was devastated I know how badly I wanted to be pregnant and had well thought it through. All of a sudden I don’t feel like that anymore? Doubts.
  • Nothing feels real, I just don’t feel like my life is mine and can’t put my finger on it. I thought I was happy months ago.
  • I haven’t been sleeping well
  • Suicidal thoughts, feel like everyone is better without me and that I just want it all to stop
  • Thoughts of termination as I don’t think I can handle all this. But this would put pressure on my relationship and hurt my supportive partner and I may regret it and suffer even more when I recover
  • I have an anxious, frightened feeling and I’m on autopilot the only think keeping me going is deep down I know I must have a routine for Emily and protect her and that I must have a font for my partner and to not hurt the baby.
  • When I look at photos from November I feel like that was me. I don’t know who I am now, I look and feel different and have different feelings, I can’t explain it very well but its like my mind is carrying on and my body is just working itself.
  • I feel like I’m going crazy,  I don’t know whats happening to me. I want to be excited and enjoy pregnancy, but I just feel it’s an inconvenience and I am scared of when the baby is born and how I will feel and cope..

Timeline of events leading to this time. 

I have recognised that I have felt like this before when I was going through my court case for historical abuse. I done treatment work on PTSD and dissociative disorder. I have looked back on my blog and have noticed similar feeling to now. I have written a timeline of significant things to identify the triggers or any similar trauma that could have affected me or created my problems.

  • Feb 2016:Abuser released from prison on my birthday (a year ago this Friday)

  • Throughout the year I had many problems with my health, and had a bad experience with a doctor when I told him my physical pain and he wouldn’t believe me and told me it was all in my head I struggled with my mental health and felt none could help me, it triggered an episode.
  • I was eventually treated and had an operation to remove my bowel from my ovaries and I was told I was infertile
  • There was mixed consultations to whether I could have children I we were told conflicting things and I was at one point told the only way to get rid of pain was a hysterectomy which I refused.
  • We went to fertility centre and went through treatment with them and told my partner had zero sperm and we had a difficult time and more episodes triggered
  • We eventually accepted that we couldn’t go on trying and put up with the strain it was having on our relationship and my health and decided not to have further treatment which was difficult
  • In November we went to Thailand for 3 weeks – I had family problems and realised that family relationships with my family weren’t what I thought
  • There was arguments and I felt alone and my mother ans sister hurt my feelings and I realised that again my expectations from the relationships were not reality, which was difficult for me to comprehend
  • I came back and started psychology – this opened up a can of worms, we began by talking about the secondary trauma from the court-case but seemed to focus on my bad relationship with my father. I was advised to stop pregabalin and not t take the antidepressants. At the end of the sessions as the psychologist couldn’t offer more I felt like I was leaft with ll these thoughts from things we had discussed, things about my past, and they were left not dealt with, I began feeling worse and I had come down off my pregabalin like she advised
  • I was really ill with withdrawal from taking 225mg less per day of pregabalin – this lasted weeks and I’ve never felt the same since. I had a low immune system so caught a flu and more illness
  • My car broke – I felt isolated and had already started to leave the house less and felt I was only safe and comfortable at home
  • I had a self employment meeting which I was so worried about, it led to a 3 week episode, which was really awful.
  • Found out I was pregnant – I was in shock and delighted for the first couple of days and then it all changed and I started to worry and have doubts and get confused about the situation and how it feels as I had accepted that I couldn’t have one. it is such a big change and I’m now suddenly confused and have no feeling. I am numb of all feelings and detached

 

Is that a normal situation? I carried n begging them for help and contacting the crisis team and anyone else I could to raise the alarm and get the support I needed, I was not going to commit suicide as I have  my daughter to look after  and I knew that I deep down did not want to terminate the baby. But in that state, what do I do?

I eventually was offered an emergency appointment a week later with this Dr Cairns. He spent the majority of an hour asking me about things that he had pulled from my records 7 years ago! Criminal history from when I was a child, I answered honestly to all questioned I cried as I spoke and I gave him my print out (as above) and explained my desperate situation. He told me and I quote

With Borderline Personality Disorder, There isn’t really any medication we can give to help it, there is not much we can do about it unfortunately.

I was so upset, by those words. Does that mean I’m fucked then? there’s no help whatsoever and because it’s a disorder that can’t be helped its tough luck? it’s not the first time I have heard words like these, it makes me wonder what they actually think of it. I instantly put my guard up. After speaking t him he was patronising and it was as if I was being dramatic and all the information I had given him wasnt relevant. I had a similar experience 2 years ago which can be found here .  On that occasion I wasnt wrong either, I had fertility problems and my ovaries were attached to my bowel causing so many problems..and that’s pretty much lead to where I am now.

I left the appointment with Dr Cairns after being told he would be in touch with some support. I heard nothing, from him or the mental health team.. I suffered, I hurt myself and I didn’t know what I could do we know we had to do this alone and just hope that I would get through it, but at the time I really didn’t think I would. I have not had an episode that lasted this long EVER. Which makes me think, is it prenatal depression? It didn’t feel like an episode, I recognise the symptoms and the cycle, this was something else altogether.

After 4 weeks or so, yes 4 weeks! of hearing nothing I received a letter from the perinatal team. I have never felt so insignificant as I did when I read it. it was a 2 page letter, the first 1 and a half pages were about things that had happened over 7 years ago! Which was a lifetime ago to me, Things move so fast in my life. Someone with BPD can relate to how long ago this was and how much will have happened and changed in that time. I was 21 for goodness sake, there was even details of a car accident I had been in 6 years ago. Why was it relevant to bring up my full psychiatric history and not deal with what was happening right now. In this letter his conclusion was basically
‘Had reasonable insight’

‘speech is normal’

She has experienced decompensation of her emotionally unstable disorder in the context of her psychotherapy uncovering historic traumas and then suddenly ending without resolution and acceptance of not having another child following a pregnancy’

‘There is clearly a risk that should her mental health deteriorate any more than there is a further risk of self harm but I don’t feel this is immediate’

Did he read any of my notes? Did he even listen to me? 

I felt ignored and still so upset and angry and that thee was no help for me, I had to keep on suffering alone. That letter sent me in another episode of despair, which also didn’t end well for me. I feel that I have been let down so much from the Mental Health team that I can’t trust them, they have messed with my head time and time again, they can’t be relied on, there’s not enough support or funding for them to help me.

Over the last few weeks through my depression I have managed to carry on with the support of my partner, I don’t have family around where I live  and I speak to my friend on a daily basis who has helped me talk things through each day until I was in a better place. I sought comfort and support from networking sites such as Netmums, where other mothers could give me advice and support and some guidance. it’s took a long time and I am still not in the light yet, though I’m now 4 month pregnant and can see clearer with regard s to the baby, It has finally sunk in and I am being practical about it. I am looking forward to finding out the sex on my next scan and when the baby comes I hope that it will all fall into place and I will love it like I love my daughter. I am constantly scared of not feeling connected to the baby again, as I grow my bump I feel more protective and I do worry about things like ‘what if I can’t do it?’ ‘what if i get ill’ but some say that this is me already being a good Mother and already thinking of whats best for my unborn child.

At the end of that letter the Doctor said that he would get me a CPN (community Psychiatric nurse) and a further appointment in 3 months time and that was that! This was February 24th. It’s now 27 March and 3 days ago I eventually got a call from his team to orange a CPN appointment, I made a complaint about my assessment and informed them I wasnt impressed with the outcome or the help I had received. I then received another letter from DR Cairns stating that I have rejected more help and didn’t find his assessment adequate therefore I am being discharged. Well thanks for that, Great support for mental health eh?

** Update**

I am now 5 month pregnant, I found out that I’m having a little boy and I seen him n the 4D scan, Finally my connection was there, I knew it had been all along but the black cloud of depression and mental health wouldn’t allow me to see it. I’m still struggling with the massive changes in my life but I’m on the mend mainly thanks to my husband. He has done everything he could for me to make me feel comfortable, support me and is constantly there to do as much as he can to get us through this. My older sister was messaged me everyday to reassure me that I would be OK and my friend is still like my therapist.. we are pregnant together so as you can imagine the messages of constant complaints, emotional support and those ‘Too Much Info’ messages are definitely for our eyes only.  I was failed once again by the mental health team a constantly live in fear of whether I’m going to be that mentally ill again soon, or if I will ever be myself again to be honest. I am looking forward to Junior coming along, I feel like I love him and want to protect him and can finally think positively about our future, I am glad I got through the first few months of the pregnancy, but I will always be disappointed I didn’t get to enjoy it and have peace of mind like other expectant mothers  do, the joys of Bordeline Personality Disorder.

I wanted to write this to show other people in my situation you are not alone, you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling this way. It’s not all  shits and giggles. But it will get better, there is hope!

There is not enough help for mental health during pregnancy, I have recently seen campaigns about it so hopefully, If enough people speak up something will have to be done, In the meantime try and have some hope, even when you feel like there is no way out of the dark. Just keep soldiering on.  I do find myself feeling better about the pregnancy though I’m still very anxious and worrying, but not feeling so doom and gloom towards it. I noticed I started feeling even better when I could feel baby move, made it more real I suppose? Like he’s contacting me to say he is there. I also made myself talk about the pregnancy.  Even though deep down I knew it was what I’d wanted, I was very worried about telling people how I felt but telling them some of what I was feeling – shock, worry, stressed not some much the abortion part as I still feel incredibly guilty – they offered their support and finally the gender scan was my turning point.

I find just taking each day as it comes works best, and making sure you make time for yourself. I’ve started reading again and quite often disappear to bed early to lose myself in a book or a film. Still have the thoughts I started out with: is this the right decision? What’s going to happen after the birth? How will I cope with my mental health? If I’m feeling particularly bad I like to write it all down. Look at what I wrote and ask myself “What can I do to ease the worry?” And come up with a plan. I also think that they’re quite normal thoughts, it’s a big thing and I don’t think any to be parent doesn’t have these thoughts at least once.

I know the last thing you want to admit to people is that you’re not feeling ‘happy’ about this pregnancy but talking helps. Whether a stranger or your partner or a friend.

But take each day as it comes, and wait until you feel the first ‘flutters’  it helps when it starts feeling more real and the horrible tired sicky stage has passed.

All the best  to anyone who is experiencing the same.

On The Borderline: Back To Basics

On The Borderline: Back To Basics

When I started blogging, I was sharing some fun exciting post, but a lot of my posts are brutally honest about my life, my experiences and my Borderline Personality Disorder and mental health issues. it was a place I could be totally honest and open up and say whatever I want without upsetting anyone or having to skirt around things to make them sound like they weren’t so painful. I wanted to be truthful and really open up about the day-to-day reality of living with a personality disorder, to allow people to be able to relate to me and to say the things that are left unsaid, the crazy truth behind the mask.

What really goes on in our minds and the suffering myself and thousands of others with mental health issues have to endure every day. Often you think thinks in your head, but you wouldn’t dream of saying them out loud! what would people think? Would that upset people? Would that make them dislike me? They would think I’m crazy! I would feel guilty if I told them what I really thought of them! I would become paranoid, wondering what they would be saying about me or if they would stop talking to me. I have BPD,  I have a fear of rejection and abandonment, so I often keep quiet and just put up with whoever it is or whatever it is that is on my mind, I bottle it up..which becomes dangerous for me in the long run. A comment you may make, which you never think about again would stay in my mind, I would be paranoid and convince myself I need to change and obsess over why you may have said it, what does this person really think of me?

Borderlines have great difficulty regulating our emotional actions and have an unfortunate tendency to lose ourselves in our own drama when we perceive that we are being attacked. For me these kinds of thing will occur at times when I am very stressed out by a situation or person. I will feel like they or everyone is out to get me and become very distressed (sometimes to the point of triggering self-harmful and difficult episodes). This will often be linked to being let down or hurt by someone I thought I could trust or rely or in some way. I will then feel like I can trust no-one, a ‘me against the world’ syndrome developing temporarily. During these episodes of paranoia and delusion I worry about what people think of me and feel there is something fundamentally wrong with me that causes people to hate me and treat me badly, I feel I don’t deserve to be happy or loved and that everyone would be better off without me, which can then lead to suicidal ideation’s. I get suspicious of everything and everyone, imaging a multitude of motivations for their action or inaction, with beliefs that they want to hurt me and are being nasty or taking advantage of me.

After a year or so of writing my blog became quite popular and we appeared on TV and radio stations and was featured in newspapers and suddenly everyone knew who I was, my friends and family, people I know, it was shared all over social media and people started to tag me and following all of my posts, which made it harder to come here and write and be so honest, to talk about the people or situations I found myself in and how they have affected my sensitive mind. I have a lot of things I want to talk about, but I don’t want to upset anyone or cause any problems or more drama, I am going through such a tough time and don’t want to push anyone away. But at the end of the day, this is MY blog, MY diary, MY place to open up and relate to  other readers that are experiencing the same things as me, to know they are not alone in what they are thinking, to clear up situations and understand them better that when they are circulating in my head.  I don’t want judgement, I don’t want negativity, but I suppose if I want to be honest and talk about my life and the people surrounding me then that’s what I may face, this is my place to vent and clear things up so if you don’t want to hear what I have to say or if you are going to use my personal diary against me, then look away now, unsubscribe or unfollow me as I have a lot that remains unsaid.

I have missed writing and have had to remind myself why I stated writing in the first place. I couldn’t speak up about my thoughts. I have no-one I want to tell everything too, I don’t want to burden anyone, I have no faith in the mental health support teams here in the UK after being let down on so many occasions and triggered in to many episodes after their rejection and BPD shaming (which I will come to a bit later.)

So here I am again, writing to myself, for others to see as my way of therapy. What follows is some honest accounts about my life, my relationships with others that have affected me and my disappointment in the mental health team and some really awful episodes I have been through recently which have shook my world once again. Everything has changed, I am feeling that now is the time to get my life in order (again) and leave behind as much negativity as possible.

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

 

 

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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The Outcome: The Report Of Historical Abuse

The Outcome: The Report Of Historical Abuse

This post is a follow-up of My Historical Abuse and My Decision To Report It. Wrote in 2012.

I write this now because it’s been over 2 years since the court trial ended. I have needed this time to accept it and try to find some closure. My life has moved on in leaps and bounds since I reported the historical abuse I suffered as a child. But here it is, about to be brought back to the front of my mind once again. I’ll start where I left off in my first post, after I had reported this crime to the Police..

Within the first eight months after the report, I had  been interviewed several times including on video tape in thorough detail and my family had been interviewed, the abuser was arrested and let out on bail, his family had decided to defend him and insist I was making it up, but that is their bad judgement. I didn’t expect any support from them.

I spent months waiting for the investigating officers to decide whether there was enough evidence to charge him. I was terrified and this had truly been the hardest thing I have ever  had to do in my life, every day was a struggle. I went through a mixture of emotions, anger, upset, confusion, pity, sorrow and I was grieving. grieving for the childhood I had lost out on. The realisation had hit me, I had suffered throughout my whole life, the pain and the difficult situations I had found myself in, a result of the choices I wouldn’t necessarily have had made if I didn’t feel the way I did, If I wasn’t forced to carry this burden.

The grief was similar to the feeling of someone dying; I went through the same stages. I was treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when I get ill I tend to disassociate by this I mean that I sometimes feel as though someone has taken over my body and I have no control over myself; however, I’m are still aware of what is going on around me, It’s like running on auto-pilot. I sat for hours just staring, not being able to watch TV or read a book or go out or even hold a conversation. I tried listening to audio books which helped a bit but I couldn’t even listen properly.

I suffered with the anxiety too, it was so bad some days I was physically sick, my stomach was constantly in a knot and churned every time I had to do something. I couldn’t work, I didn’t want to visit my family I’d often relive the abuse through nightmares and flashbacks and experienced feelings of isolation, irritability and sorrow. I was confused and had trouble sleeping; I suffered from sleep panic attacks too. I still do feel some of these things even now, its something I am learning to live with and manage.

It took 18 months before the case was taken to court, there was problems getting information from the Tranwell Unit, which is the psychiatric hospital in Gateshead where I lived. They needed to get all my medical records from being a child, they also needed me to have an assessment which would let them know if I had narcissistic traits, narcissists can be spiteful, dishonest and selfish and it would have been used against me if I did. I scored a zero on the assessment because I am none of those things; I’m quite the opposite in fact. There was also problems getting statements from witnesses, and we had to wait a few months for the CPS to decide if the case was strong enough to hold up in court.

During this time I began receiving help from a lovely lady at The Women’s Support Network in Middlesbrough, she was there from the start and talked me through every step of the way, she didn’t just help with the court case, she offered support with other areas in my life too, whatever I was struggling with at the time she was my first point of call. I had given up on the Primary care team in Gateshead, they had failed me.

There was no point in ringing the Crisis team when I was in Crisis, my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) was changed and the replacements I received were useless and I was hitting a constant brick wall when I begged for help. One day in remember I had enough; I was ready to take my own life. I was at rock bottom and couldn’t cope any longer, I had started planning to take my own life and was hysterical, I received a phone call from an unknown number, usually I would just ignore it but for some reason I answered it and it was The Women’s Support Network, they talked to me for an hour or so on the phone and calmed me down. They were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for helping me at a time I thought I couldn’t go on.

I also received a lot of help from Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre, I received counselling and though I thought It wouldn’t help I was willing to do whatever it takes to get through this horrific time. To my surprise it was great, I started to feel liberated after getting my thoughts off my chest, the lady I spoke to understood and had a sense of humor which certainly helped!

At first I was scared that I would have to go in and tell the story all over again, but it wasn’t like that, we just chatted and eventually I found myself talking about all my feelings that were confusing me, the emotions I was going through, the pity I felt for myself and the way I felt about my friend and family members and how they were dealing with the situation too. It helped me put a lot into perspective and she gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing and it would be worth it if I just hung on in there.

When he was finally sent to court he pleaded not-guilty as I expected, though I didn’t feel somewhat disappointed still. I knew I would have to stand up in court now and I was terrified. I received the date for the trial and it was still a few months away, things got worse for me as the anxiety took over and all I could think about was the fear of going to court. I went for a Pre-Trial meeting and they showed me around, I had decided I would appear via video link into the court room; this was the right decision and took off a lot of pressure.

The following Monday I attended court for the first day of the trial, My friend Limara came with me for support, she had been there from the day I reported the abuse and I will be forever grateful that she put up with me throughout the last 18 months. After waiting all morning to give evidence, it was actually adjourned until the next day. I cried because I knew I had to do it all over again tomorrow but I was also relieved that I didn’t have to do it then and there.

The following day I felt a little better about it, I knew what to expect and Witness Support where great and made us feel welcome and comfortable. My mother was giving evidence after me, so I knew I once I went in I wouldn’t see her. My older sister Sarah had come with me too. We were waiting all morning again and it wasn’t until 1pm that they came for me. Since giving my video statement I dreading having to watch it back in court, I don’t like the way I look and I hate my voice, I always fill awkward silences with inappropriate jokes and I was worried in case I had come across wrong in the statement. I was shaking, sweating and thirsty, I have genuinely never been so afraid of anything in my entire life! I sat in front of the screen and camera and was sworn in and introduced to the court room by the judge.

First we watched the video statement, it took forty minutes and I just closed my eyes for the majority, it wasn’t as bad as I thought and they had cut irrelevant bits out (thank god) but I was still cringing and sad to hear myself telling the story of a very frightened little girl whose life was ruined by the abuse she endured. I was told that the defence would then ask me a few questioned and maybe the prosecution would ask some too, I did not expect to be interrogated for two whole hours by the defence alone.

Throughout the interrogation I used grounding techniques to stop me from getting angry or too upset, I stood tall, answered the questions to the best of my knowledge. The defence tried to trick me into saying things, and putting words into my mouth, but I was one step ahead of her. I was telling the truth. If I didn’t know the answer I simply said ‘I’m sorry I don’t remember’, I repeated it over and over. She kept insisting that I was lying, to which I simply replied ‘I am not lying, I have no reason to lie, I am telling the truth’ at one point I did get angry and shook my head and rolled my eyes to stop me from saying something I might regret.

I didn’t elaborate on anything I told them unless I was 100% and I told the court that, If I wasn’t sure about something I just said ‘I’m sorry I’m not sure’ I just wanted it to be over, taking one question at a time. After two hours and forty minutes I was finished, after being such a strong woman and trying so hard to stay in control and regulate my emotions I was exhausted and I cried.
When I went back to the waiting room my Mam was allowed to give me a quick hug as the barrister had told her it had been a long time for me and I might need it, which I did. They told me I had been marvelous and so brave and they were pleased that I got through it so well under the circumstances; they had not expected it to go on so long.

Next it was my mothers turn, she was back within 20 minutes, she hadn’t been able to keep her cool as much as me and spat her answers to the defence and then left. They said it was short and sweet and she done what she needed to do. I was glad I could finally go home; I was so tired and overwhelmed.

The next few days Sarah and my cousin Leanne attended court for the rest of the trial, they were my eyes and ears and I trusted them and they heard things in that room that I have only ever told one person, the officer that took the statement. It was hard for them to hear the abuser and his family speaking about us, they lied and did what they could to get out of it.

The abuser accused my Mam of being jealous of them in the past and suggested that I was malnourished and they had just tried to help me. They contradicted their original statements, they had got dates wrong, and lied about cars they had owned, places they had lived and jobs they had had. This was after they had seen my statement, they had had time to conjure up a story together and tried to convince the jury that their original statements (which apparently proved my evidence was accurate) where wrong because they were confused and stressed when they originally gave them.

Even his defence had to question him on his lies and at one point there was even some confusion in the gallery to whether she was defending him or trying to prosecute him. When it was time for his wife and two children to take to the stand, there stories were all exactly the same. Like they had rehearsed it from a script.

They then brought in their own witness, a girl that I couldn’t remember but was apparently sometimes there too, they thought it would help if she told them that she was there too sometimes and was unharmed, but it turned out when she started to speak she confirmed some of the situations that I had told them about, like when we went up Eston Hills Strawberry picking. The abuser denied that he ever took anyone up there, but this girl said that she used to go on day trips berry picking sometimes, which confirmed what I had said.

It was a week and a half long trial, it was only supposed to last 3 days. I never thought he would get found guilty, you always hear about these people getting away with things and justice not being done. But I will never forget that phone call, Sarah being a drama queen that she is, was crying loudly and just said ‘he was found guilty’ he had originally been charged with 11 offences but was only convicted of 2 due to there being insufficient evidence for any of the other charges, though I know they knew I wasn’t lying.

The relief just flooded out of me, it was a feeling I had never experienced before in my life, it was like years of carrying this weight had been lifted of my shoulders. At this point I didn’t care what happened next, I was just relieved that I was believed, that what I had went through had been worthwhile and no matter what happened to him, he would be known to the police and I may have saved another child from going through what I had been through. I was smiling, properly smiling and I felt like it was over, it was all over finally and I could have a life now.

The sentencing came six weeks later; he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for one account of indecent assault and one of gross indecency. He was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sex Prevention Order that means he can’t go near parks or schools etc. When I was told of the sentencing, I didn’t feel happy everyone thought I should, I felt sad. I cried and cried, I felt pity for his family as even though they lied about me and stuck by my abuser, I knew to do such thing, they must love him so much and there lives had also been ripped apart, I know it is his fault and it’s his choices that have done this, but I was sorry that they had to get hurt too.

I felt another emotion too, what I can only describe as guilt. I was given a gift I suppose, of being able to put myself into someone else’s shoes and trying to understand why they do things and how they must feel. I thought about how mentally disturbed this man must be to do what he did and maybe he was suffering mentally too, whether he realise it or not. I believe to carry out acts of abuse you have a disturbed thought process otherwise you would know it’s wrong and wouldn’t do it. I also thought about whether it might have been something he grew out of as he grew older, it was nearly 20 years ago when this abuse started, maybe he now realised how wrong it was? Though if he had surely he would have admitted it or shown some kind of remorse?

I had also spoken to a friend who had been in prison, he told me some stories of the things that go on in there and how pedophiles were treat and it was horrific, I felt like I had subjected a man to this, yes, he is a monster, but two wrongs don’t make a right. I felt like I was just as bad, like I had taken revenge, but that wasn’t my intention.

I never wanted to cause anyone any suffering or misery and I have nothing but pity for his family. I just wanted to free myself of the torment I had lived with and make people aware that this man was a danger to children, to his grandchildren even. I know that he had to pay for what he did. It was illegal and morally wrong and damaging. I have to take a step back sometimes and remind myself of the bigger picture, it wasn’t me that he abused, this strong, brave woman, it was a little girl, like my young Daughter, vulnerable, confused and scared.

Its now February 2016. This month he is being released from prison after serving 2 years and 3 months of his 4 and a half year setnece. He may already have been freed as I write this as I wasn’t given exact dates.

His suffering and punishment are over.

But my suffering isn’t, I will never be freed.

 

Brian Bennet, 61, Saltburn. 20p Sex Abuser. Report by Evening Gazzette
Brian Bennet, 61, Saltburn. 20p Sex Abuser.
Report by Evening Gazzette
How Do You Know When You Are Coming Out Of An Episode?

How Do You Know When You Are Coming Out Of An Episode?

As I wrote just days ago on this blog, I felt so rock-bottom. I was  in despair and horribly confused. I’ve had many episodes like that, some much worse and I accept my condition and the way it makes me feel. I know that these things will happen from time to time but thankfully, it happens a lot less these days,  as I’m lucky enough to have been able to use the coping strategies that I have learnt over the years. After an extreme low I always feel deep regret, embarrassment and shame because of the way I have been feeling, the way I have acted and of the thoughts I had during that time.

During this episode in particular, I somehow knew what was happening and that  things would seem much different when it was over , thinking to myself ‘I have got through this befiore, and I wil again’.  Though I still couldn’t control the way I felt, the sobbing, the anxiety, the worries that I had and the chronic emptiness, knowing that no-one will understand even if I try to explain.  I was lucky enough to function on auto-pilot, I had to I’m a mother and I have a partner. They rely on me and they needed me to be OK even though I was dying inside.

Last night, after trying to pull myself together for days but not having the energy, I was in the kitchen making some tea and I was just pottering about and started singing.. then it dawned on me. I’M SINGING!

The thoughts have stopped racing through my head and I suddenly relaxed, thought about my situation and how my body felt, at this point the tension left my body and I felt a relief. It was over, I’m on my way back to my version of reality, I was beginning to feel human again.

I remember one day I complained to my mother that my daughter never stopped singing and it was driving me crazy,  she told me ‘she must be happy and content then, you don’t sing when your sad’

Gaining so much knowledge in my condition over the years and being able to recognise the triggers, symptoms and feelings have helped me cope with my Borderline Personality Disorder.  In this instance I put into place my Mindfulnes practice; Mndfulness is a great tool and I would highly recommend it to anyone suffering from any mental health problem.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.

Mark Williams professor of clinical psychology says “An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment.  Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. Awareness of this kind doesn’t start by trying to change or fix anything. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

Today I feel proud of myself, I pulled through it and that for the first time it hit me that I had learnt a new skill, I knew to recognise the end of the episode by being mindful. I also know my next phase is rebuilding myself. People recover in different ways, I rebuild myself by organising, creating to do lists and being productive, organising my clothes, getting new hair extensions and pampering myself and making plans for the future. I also recognise that by doing this it prepares me for the next depression or bad episode.  So this is me back to my life, my beautiful mess.

I am interested to find out how you come to the realisation that your episode is over? or is there something that happens as you begin to descend into that state of depression or mania? 

P.s I would also like to thank those of you that messaged me for your kind words of support, they made me feel less isolated in my time of need ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I’m surviving.

Today, I’m surviving.

I havent wrote for a while, but I feel like I need to get this out as part of me moving on from this episode. I have had an awful week, it just isn’t getting any better. there is so much going on around me, really stressful things in my life. Money, friends, career, family & even the dreaded trauma feelings from historical abuse I suffered, has hit me like a ton of bricks as it’s nearing the abusers release date. It’s overwhelming me, I just don’t know how I’m coping.

Yesterday things took a turn for the worst for me, I recently wrote a post about the physical pain I was in and the problems I had been having with my doctor.. I was finally referred to the right people and I had a hospital appointment, When I got there I found out the reason for the discomfort and the problems I have been having trying to conceive..It turns out I have endometriosis. Which can cause infertility. I was faced with the options ‘try to conceive with a very slim chance and put up with the every day pain and discomfort or we can shut down the ovaries’ 😦

I have another appointment for MORE scans to check out the cysts on my ovaries and see if they will be removed and then I must have laparoscopy surgery to confirm the diagnosis and see if they can remove some of the tissue causing the problems conceiving, this may not be the case, but I am hoping this can be done aswell as the Cysts removed to increase my ‘slim’ chance of conceiving. I was informed after the surgery they would look into treatments for me. Though it doesn’t look good, I’m lucky enough to have been blessed with my daughter 10 years ago but that doesn’t take away the desperation I feel right now, It also means I’m unlikely to get fertility treatments and IVF with help from the National Health Service.

Along with everything else I am devastated, My Fiance (Yes Fiance..I got engaged!) is longing for a child and we now have to face the sad fact that I may not be able to provide him with one. Though he is so supportive, constantly reassuring me and tell me we will deal with it together and that I’m being crazy, he wants to marry me. I believe him. I can see he adores me, as can everyone that knows us personally.  But I know deep down how much a child was part of his plan and even though right now this is OK, will it still be OK in 5 years time If it comes to IVF and it doesn’t work? What then? My anxiety is taking over, I can’t look in ‘the now’ I can’t rationalise.

This has triggered another horrible feeling for me to deal with. I’ve come to realise how I am so attached and dependant on him. We are planning a wedding, a huge commitment that I am totally 100% committed to. But that’s the issue..what if something happened to him? I don’t know how I would live if he wasn’t with me, I couldn’t face this life alone.. even though I found the strength before, I never felt this attached or afraid. I get a separation anxiety when he’s not around, I just don’t feel at ease. The minute he comes through the door everything seems easier to cope with.

Even if we are having a disagreement, I still desperately need him around to feel OK. So now I’m worried in case my life is all going to crumble. I’m not doubting him or our relationship, we are solid. But that’s why this is crazy, why am I this upset and scared about something that might never happen? or might not even be an issue. I don’t want to hold back and keep a barrier up where he is concerned (a typical BPD thing to do) and to be honest its to late to take a step back. I can’t help thinking, what if it’s out of my hands? Im already afraid of the emotions I would have to face.

My head just feels like its exploding. On the outside I am wearing my mask, still going on auto pilot, not crying until I’m alone, trying to act normal, listening to other people’s problems and continue pretending I have everything under control. But I don’t, I have no idea what to do I have thoughts racing through my mind I am really distressed extremely anxious.

I’m not sure how much longer I can do this, It’s got to the point where the self-harm thoughts are coming because I’m so frustrated. I just feel angry and have a lot of self-pity. I want to scream and cry and hide away.. I am not hysterical enough to phone the Crisis team.. is this a crisis? or just an episode? Or a reaction to the build up of negativity?

I keep telling myself that I  have overcome these things before, I survived then and I will now. Thank God that I know how to use the self-help skills that I have learnt over the years, though even that’s a struggle. I’m so agitated I can’t even find the strength or enough focus to use some of my distraction skills that usually help me through. This time I’m running on hope, hope that it’s over soon. I feel very alone, I can’t tell no-one. I don’t know what to say. They won’t understand anyway. How can I explain something I don’t understand myself.?

I wake up on a morning and wait for bedtime, I don’t sleep well but in this state when I’m asleep, it’s the only time I escape my own head.  I recognise the cycle, how it happens, how I feel and what feeling will come next. I’m just so overwhelmed, my feelings are spiralling out of control. Yet, I’m still somehow surviving.