BPD Is A Bitch Archive

Friendship

Posted June 15, 2020 By kmarrs

My memory is poor, so I don’t really have many fond memories of my ex best friend from high school. I remember when Luke was like 2yo, taking the boys to the zoo and pulling them around in the wagon I bought for that exact purpose. Only, that trip I guess Thomas mostly walked since he would have been around 6. And Lucas spread himself out in the wagon and passed the fuck out. He napped for a solid 2 hours or so in that wagon while we pulled him around the zoo.

I remember this because I just took the littles to the zoo. It finally opened back up this weekend for members only. You have to make reservations in advance since they are only letting so many people in at a time, but I made them well in advance. So I’ve been reflecting on the many happy zoo memories.

Another clear memory of her is her blatant ableism. Like how she refused to be seen with me in public in February with me wearing flip flops. Even though at that moment I literally could not wear any other shoes. I did not hang out with her that day and have actually not spoken to her since.

I guess that made her mad?

Because a few years later she tried to steal my then husband (now wife) and my kids from me. She always did covet the family I had. So the minute my relationship went south, she swooped in. I don’t blame Robin from sleeping with her. We were separated and she’s always had a crush on her. But she had no interest in being casual. She was in it for the family. And when Robin and I got back together she was furious. Which says a lot about her since she’s Catholic and doesn’t believe in divorce. Usually.

I’ve had an attempt at a best friend between now and then in Clyde. But he was toxic and I got out when that became apparent. We’ve been in and out of casual contact since. But nothing lasting. What can I say, we met in a joint class. We were teammates on a group project. The first that degree ever gave me. We then, a few years later, ran into each other in a different class. I think if I ran into him again, we could be civil. Stand and chat. Or email for a few days. But it wouldn’t be anything deep or lasting. That friendship was too toxic.

I’ve had a few toxic friendships. Hell, at times my relationship with Robin is toxic. This isn’t some huge revelation. It’s common knowledge we’ve been separated twice.

BPD makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Being neurodivergent makes starting relationships hard.

Also, I don’t see myself as worth much, so I don’t immediately bulk at being treated poorly.

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April 2020 Mental Health Check-In

Posted April 20, 2020 By kmarrs

I’ll start by saying I’m now between therapists. What happened to my last one is complicated and stupid but the short of it is, it didn’t work out. So as soon as this pandemic thing is over I’m going to start the process of finding a new one. I know where to look. This won’t be difficult. But I do need to be able to leave the house first. So I’m just waiting things out.

I will also go ahead and be honest that under self-scrutiny I’m just cranky and have been for months. However, the feedback from those I live with is that I’m being more confrontational and, well, destructive, than usual. Which tells me it’s time for DBT. My BPD is acting up. I need to take care of it. Of course, however, group therapy is not an option. And even without the pandemic, that’s still a hard thing to manage.

What I’ve done instead, or at least as a temporary fix, is bought Marsh Linehan’s DBT training manual and the worksheets. I also bought her CBT manual which the DBT manual references heavily.

While I’m aware these manuals aim to teach me how to teach the skills for others who need it, I’m hoping to use the manual as a well to self reflect and remind myself of the skills.

I’ve been through DBT so many times. At this point, I know the skills. At least I did. So I don’t need to be taught, so much. I just need to be reminded. I would not use these books if I hadn’t actually sat through DBT a half dozen times. But I feel they will work as a refresher.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at.

And it’s not the pandemic. I’ve been struggling for maybe a year now. It’s long past time I recognize I’m not just kind of cranky. It’s long past time I get myself back into shape. So I’m working towards that. Perhaps with an intellectual approach, but hopefully it works.

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Executive Dysfunction

Posted March 7, 2019 By kmarrs

This will be a short note but I want to address a common misconception about Executive Dysfunction verses laziness.

You’re probably not lazy. Especially if you’re not neurotypical.

Executive Dysfunction is so common. A lot… A LOT of people have it.

Do you want to start the thing but are almost afraid of it?

Do you want to start the thing but you know you can’t do it perfectly so you think why bother?

Do you want to start the thing but your mind is telling you it is going to take more spoons than you have?

Do you want to start the thing but have trouble initiating?

Congratulations, it’s Executive Dysfunction.

You’re not at all even a little but just lazy.

And berating yourself for being lazy is doing the opposite of solving the problem.

Cut yourself some slack, and now that you know what it is, reread this past Monday’s post.

Also:

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Do What You Can

Posted March 4, 2019 By kmarrs

This started as a Twitter thread, so you might have seen it there, but I want to expand upon it, and I want to do that here, in long form.

Sambam is at that age where it’s fun to do chores that aren’t her own.
Ask her to clean her room? It’s the end of the world. Try to do dishes (my chore) without her help? Also the end of the world. I let her help until (if) she gets bored then I let her move on. And when it comes to her room (her chore), once a day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and tell her to do what she can but once the timer rings, she can be done.

In reality, all her room ever really needs is that 10 minutes a day, and usually, it’s done in 5. But instead of overwhelming her by the limitless “clean your room”, I redirect it into a clear time frame with a set beginning and end. And reframe the word “spotless” into “do what you can”. This allows an overwhelming task to feel manageable. Possible. And I get a much better end result. In 10 (5) minutes, instead of the 10 days, it used to take.


Now she is happy to do her chores. Is excited (bossy) to help me with mine. And our relationship has a lot less stress in it. She is my heart and is growing into a functional and happy and beautiful young lady!


(Also, her hands are seeing work for the first time and she earned a tiny blister she’s very proud of. She worked herself on the dishes far harder than I would have worked her. But she was having fun.)


Do what you can.

That is just such an important concept!

So many of us are sick in one way or another. Mental health, chronic physical health. So many of us are spoonies. And when you are a spoonie, being given an open ended task like, “clean your room” or “vacuum the carpets” can seem so overwhelming.

I’ve seen this concept stated in many ways by many people, but I’m going to work it my way and see what happens.

Your bathroom is a mess? Start with the clutter around the sink. Put everything on the counter in its place. Now wipe it down. Out of spoons or otherwise need to move on? You did what you can. You’re free to go. But be proud of what you did! Tomorrow you can tackle the toilet.

Not out of spoons and the counter looks great but you want to do a little more? Go for it! Nothing is stopping you. Do what you can for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Stop when you need to stop. Continue on when you have the spoons and will.

Vacuum one room a day. Look. I get it. Pushing the vacuum around takes a lot of spoons. So just get your living room. Or your office. Or the one room that needs it the most. Do what you can.

Writing a paper for class and it needs to be 6 pages and that feels overwhelming? Well, unless it’s due in like an hour, write the introduction and walk away from it for awhile. Go do the dishes. Get a snack. Just walk away. But while you do so, work the paper around in your head. After 15 minutes, come back to the computer and get down what your brain tossed around. Polish it. Add a little more. Just until it starts to get a little overwhelming again, or right before, then walk away again for awhile. No one said you have to write the entire paper in one day, unless you procrastinated. Take your time with it. Take little bites as you can. Bit by bit those 6, 10, 20 pages will form.

Do what you can.

Don’t ever berate yourself for not having what it takes to <insert task here> in one go. But don’t just do nothing either. Idleness won’t help. It’ll only make you overwhelmed with the task in general.

Back to Sammy.

We used to just tell her to clean her room spotless and, especially to a young child, that was the single most horrible thing we could have done (aside from actual child abuse, I acknowledge). To her little mind, it was the end of the world because it was so overwhelming. So one day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and told her to do what she could. As long as she actually worked for the full 10 minutes, just putting away what caught her eye, or whatever was closest, or no method to the madness, just honest cleaning… whatever the end result was, she just needed to work for 10 minutes. I figured 10 minutes a day for a week, and we might have a spotless room.

But she bloomed. Suddenly she didn’t have to clean indefinitely. She had a clear and solid end insight. So instead of letting it build up in her mind into this huge overwhelming task, and accomplishing nothing at all (or worse… continuing to play and letting it get messier)…

The entire room took her about 5 minutes and she bragged about it. It wasn’t an ordeal. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was 10 (5) minutes worth of honest effort, end results be damned, and the end results were amazing. Better than what usually resulted in 10 days worth of tears and frustration, and mostly procrastinating.

I have executive dysfunction. It’s paired with my ADHD and depression. Tasks can seem so overwhelming and impossible to start. My head paints this big picture that <insert task here> is going to take a million hours of exhausting, mission impossible work. As a result, I’m afraid to even start. It’s just built up and overwhelming and I can’t seem to make myself start.

When I do eventually start the task, more often than not, it takes a hell of a lot less time than I feared, and not nearly as much effort as I assumed. It seemed endless and impossible, but in reality it was manageable and not that big of a deal. Certainly not what I built it up to be.

Getting started is the hard part. With me. With Sammy. And possibly (probably) with you.

So buy a little egg timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Now, not forever from now. (Or if you’re like me, give yourself a little more leeway and start at exactly x:00 or x:15 or x:30 or x:45… it just feels more solid and definite.) Set that timer and just start. See what happens.

And do what you can.

Oh! And one last thing! Don’t set yourself up for expecting perfection in the results. No one ever needs that. Your honest best is your honest best and don’t let anyone, including yourself, expect anything more from you.

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New Therapist

Posted January 17, 2019 By kmarrs

We’ll start with the old. I saw my old therapist, Cindy, off and on for some 12 years. I was pregnant with my middle little when we paired up and I started DBT. It was right before I got pregnant that I was diagnosed with BPD. And he’s turning 11 in just a few days so almost 12 years seems pretty on the nose.

And Cindy was/is great. She specializes in BPD and DBT and I adore her. I would not have the skills I have now, if not for her.

But I’m at a point in my life where one of the primary things I want to talk about in therapy is my identity of being queer. (Which is how I choose to sum up my sexuality and gender identity.) And Cindy is not afraid to talk about me being queer, but she has no experience with it personally or with people in her life so she had no practical advice to offer. She had great listening skills, but I need a little more.

So I did a literal google search for trans therapists that are local to me and I found Ruby. I don’t know if she herself is trans. I honestly can’t tell even after a session with her (which is fine) but I do know she has a Master’s in Gender Studies and gender queer people in her life, beyond her own experience. (She did say she is queer. It just hasn’t been defined out. Which again is fine. I don’t need her life story beyond the generalization that she’s qualified in this topic and issue.)

Additionally, she’s also fully versed in BPD a lot like Cindy is. So I’m not completely sacrificing whatever help I need with BPD, just to have someone whom can relate to gender issues.

Anyway, as of now I’m going to start seeing Ruby every Monday after work. My first session was this past Monday, the 14th of January. And I want to talk about it. Not the details of what we talked about, though I will sum it up, but instead the general feel of it all. Why Ruby is the perfect fit for me.

She was just coming in from being outside when it was time to start our session. So we go into her rented office and she starts going around the spacious room and turning on a dozen floor and table lamps. No harsh overhead florescents. Nope. This isn’t a sterile office, this place has a living room feel. There are comfy places to sit with an abundance of pillows and blankets. Rugs on the floor. A play area for children. Huge, wall conquering book cases filled with books. This place just immediately felt like home. Which, as nervous as I was, it put me at ease.

After she turned on all the lights, she sat in her own comfy chair, bent down, and took off her boots revealing fun cat socks. Like. There are just no words. I picked her off this long list of therapists that I found because she was friend shaped. I was delighted to discover that she specialized in what I needed her to specialize in. But the initially what made me go to her website, off the list, was that she just looked warm and friendly. Warm. So warm. So to have her kick off her shoes, which is honestly my person aesthetic, was revoltionary. I didn’t know therapists could do that! From now on, any new therapists I try out, if they don’t kick off their shoes, then they just aren’t for me.

The office. The no shoes. I just felt really safe.

Moving on, though I could spend another 5 paragraphs talking about the no shoes and fun socks…

I’m pretty secure in my gender identity now so while I wanted someone who specializes in it, it won’t be the main focus of therapy. We talked about that some. Most the session was just a brief outline of who I am. Standard first session shit. But we did discuss the goals.

My main objective is to deal with my anger issues I’m finally admitting I have. I… when I’m frustrated by my kids or spouse I turn red with anger and before I even realize I’m doing it, I start yelling. All the fucking time. I don’t want to yell anymore. I need to replace it with something, I don’t know what because the kids don’t listen. But I don’t want to yell anymore. It’s just not how I want my home life to go. So over the next however many weeks and months, Ruby is going to help me learn skills to stop the yelling, and parenting skills as to what I can do in place of it to get the kids to listen.

Cindy probably could have done that for me. But now, with Ruby, when gender issues are on the forefront of my mind, I can bring them up and we can tackle them as a team. It’s not the primary objective of therapy, but it’s still a thing that can coexist.

So every Monday at 4 I’m in therapy with Ruby, who works out of what could easily be a living room, if not for the insurance agent across the hall, and who kicks off her shoes to reveal relatable socks. I’m… it’s a good way to spend my Monday afternoons.

I should have kicked off my own shoes. Next time.

And then after therapy I have a standing dinner date with my dad. Which will make for a long day, but it lets me avoid rush hour traffic in getting home (therapy is on his side of town, my house is decidedly not) and I really should spend more time with him anyways. So this is good. I get home 10 hours after I left it and exhausted, but that’s just how it is sometimes.

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Like I went to bed last “night” at 5 AM and was up by 1 PM fully rested.

On work nights I no longer have to be asleep by 10PM in order to be up by 9AM, and dragging.  If I’m still awake at 11 or even midnight, I’m mostly ok.

I’m still very much a spoonie, and always will be.  I still have fibro to contend with.  Even if I’m in complete remission from my mental health issues, the full long list, fibro is an energy sap.  But like I’m doing better.

This is a huge sign I’m doing better.

Also, I’m reading for fun again.  Even though I’m still in classes.  See if I spend less time hiding from my depression on tumblr, I can find the time to read.

But like for so long, as much as I love books, I couldn’t find the interest in reading.  That’s how I knew it was time to change my anti-depressant, btw.  That was many many many months ago.  But it took awhile to climb out of the hole I was in.  Stress from school doesn’t help.

So in my down time, my main hobby was depression scrolling Tumblr.

I still spend a lot of time on this site.  But now it’s mostly to talk to my many friends.  That’s not depression.  That’s living.

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