BPD Blog Borderline Personality Disorder

Gallbladder

Posted July 8, 2021 By kmarrs

Sorry I missed last week’s post. I was physically not OK and spent my usual time to sit down and write napping.

I’ve known for a while my gallbladder was in rough shape. I actually decided in the fall of 2020 that I was going to look into getting it removed this year. Then the whole cancer thing happened. I decided to put it off because it wasn’t exactly hurting me, it just felt like pressure under my lower right ribs. On the pain scale, we’re talking the occasional 2 or 3. Enough to make me want to take my bra off, but that’s it.

Then around 2 am on what was officially Thursday the 24th of June, I started getting the worst heartburn. The worst. I don’t have breakthrough heartburn often, but when I do, it’s a doozy. Only, it wouldn’t go away. I drank a bottle of Pepto, ate a container of tums, tried my hot pepper trick. Nothing.

Eventually, I went to urgent care for their heartburn cocktail. They gave it to me, along with an EKG, and sent me on to the emergency room. There, they did more testing on my heart, but they also scanned my chest and belly and found my gallbladder full of stones and angry as can be.

It took a full week of managing fat intake very carefully and giving up any remaining carbonated drinks in my diet, but I am finally pain-free again and have been almost a week now. Meanwhile, I also have a surgery consult. I’m looking to schedule my surgery for the very end of August or early September. By then I’ll have a week’s paid vacation at work so I’ll only be short 1 week’s pay in my recovery.

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The Path

Posted June 24, 2021 By kmarrs

This came up in my Facebook memories and hit me super hard. I walked the stage with a nearly perfect GPA and top honors. But here I sit 2 years later with too much brain damage to attempt grad school. Grad school being why I needed perfect grades.

I was dying. I didn’t know it was cancer, but I was very much dying and I knew that. I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, but I knew. And yet I forced perfection on myself. I asked for extensions instead of just skipping the occasional assignment. I studied while in the hospital. I wrote final papers right after surgery while on opioids.

I pushed and I pushed myself to perfection. Nearly killed myself striving for perfection. All so I could have a perfect GPA so I could get into the grad program of my choice.

And now? I can tell the difference. How smart I used to be, versus where I’m at now. Yes, I’m still intelligent. But not like I was. I can feel the difference and I can tell I’m no longer cut out for grad school. I was already going to be struggling because of Autism and ADHD. But brain damage to?

I am so angry. But I’m mostly sad that I put so much importance on my grades. C’s get degrees but I nearly died achieving perfection.

My path looks different now. I spent all of therapy coming to terms with all of the above and all of the below.

My best friend is Marissa. Granted, we don’t call her that. We call her Coffee. I’ll continue to call her Coffee on these pages. But her name is Marissa. I think it’s good to attach a real name to her existence now and then.

We’ve been best friends for a few years at this point. It all started with her sending me photos of the various animals in her life on Tumblr on a bad night and then before I knew it was had a friendship unlike any I’ve ever experienced. I’ve blogged about best friends before. If you’ve been here you know those usually blew up in my face. There was the ableist girl from high school. Tried to steal not just my spouse but my kids too last time Robin and I separated. There was Nate who was emotionally constipated and forbid me to have any emotions around him ever.

Coffee. I don’t have words. We have faced a lot of the same struggles, though there are plenty of differences. She is strong where I’m weak, and vice versa. I can honestly say that while it’s strictly platonic and nonsexual, I am absolutely in love with her. She is my person. She is one of my chosen sisters and I would do anything for her and know she would do anything for me. She’s held my hand through the process of nearly dying, losing my wife, and just every low moment of the past few years. She’s not afraid of my emotions and low points. And she approaches my BPD with common sense, compassion, and basic human decency. She’s also not afraid to call me out if I need to examine and rethink my behavior. She’ll enable me buying a children’s fishing pole to go “cat fishing”. But she won’t enable me treating people like shit. She makes me want to be a better person and helps me dig deep to find who that better person within me is.

And everything that she does for me, I strive to do for her in kind.

She is more than I could ever have hoped for in a friend.

And together we have built two really solid and healthy friend groups, with some overlap. A found family full of love, acceptance, neurodivergence, and queerness. My life is so full of love these days, but I found this chosen family with Coffee by my side. And through her love and guidance, I became a person worthy of their love. I do a lot of hard work. It wasn’t all Coffee. But she offered solid support and feedback.

There is a point to this.

Coffee is going to school to get a degree in running an agricultural-based business. The plan is, she and her husband Pete will buy some land in probably Kansas and they will run a lavender farm. In 10 years when my babies are all grown and out of the nest, I’m following them to Kansas and I’m buying a house as near theirs as I can and I’ll help them run their farm. Coffee will make sure I have a thriving wage and health insurance. I’ll also do what I do now, caregiving, on the side to help add enrichment to my life.

My path is no longer taking me to grad school at OSU and a PsyD that I’d use to diagnose especially women with Autism and ADHD. But that’s OK. Because my path is now taking me to Coffee, and her little family, and that’s even better.

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My Thumb

Posted June 17, 2021 By kmarrs

This will be short. It’s been a crazy week where few things have gone as planned and there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Nothing bad has happened.  In fact some good has happened.  But I’m tired.

Anyway

My maternal grandmother had a super green thumb.  So does my mom.  I honestly thought it had skipped me because I spent the first 30 something years of my life unable to keep a single plant alive.

But I don’t know. Something happened in the last few years and suddenly I can keep most anything alive.  Sure some things die, but I’m having more success than not.

I want to show some of my latest successes.

I’ve had a lot of succulents over the past few years, but this is the first time one has flowered for me. She’s been working on it for weeks!
The beginnings of my first strawberry!
This is what a strawberry flower looks like. I have a handful of them out there turning into berries right now!
Yes I very much planted this clover! I attempted last year with limited success. This year my efforts were fruitful. Next year I’m planting 10 times as much!

I have an extensive garden growing out back, but these are what I currently find the most exciting. I’ll show off the rest of the fruits of my labor (pun intended) later when I have things to harvest.

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EMDR

Posted June 10, 2021 By kmarrs

Despite the trauma train that has been the last 6 months kicking up some dust, I’m actually fairly stable. So in this spirit, I’m working on processing the trauma I’ve been through in the past 37 years. There are all sorts of things, big and little, and I’m ready to deal with it all.

DBT is great for helping to survive the day to day. But I’m doing that fairly well. Even when I was dying, I made it through each day intact. DBT isn’t set up to deal with the past.

There is a form of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing it’s perfectly set up to help process past traumas and desensitize people with PTSD. It is a little tricky to explain, but it’s basically puts the patient almost into a trance. I’m going to provide some links to web pages and books that can explain this much better than I can below.

I will say that it is helpful. I’ve only just begun the process and I have a long ways to go, but I finally feel hope that I can let go of the past and come out the other end happier and less angry. PTSD makes me angry and I don’t like that about myself. But I can fix it. And EMDR is the key.

https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
https://youtu.be/Pkfln-ZtWeY

Bannit, S.P. (2012). The trauma toolkit: Healing trauma from the inside out. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
Scaer, R. (2005). The trauma spectrum: Hidden wounds and human resiliency. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.
Parnell, L. (2008). Tapping in: A step-by-step guide to activating your healing resources through bilateral stimulation. Boulder, CO: Sounds True Books.
Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M. (1997). EMDR: The breakthrough “eye movement” therapy for overcoming stress, anxiety, and trauma. New York: Basic Books.
Shapiro, F. (2013). Getting past your past: Take control of your life with self-help techniques from EMDR therapy. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.

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Thomas is Leaving the Nest

Posted June 3, 2021 By kmarrs

Thomas turns 18 in early July. On his 18th birthday he plans to move to Wisconsin to work on his long time best friend, new girlfriend’s farm. Until that point he is living with his grandmother.

Thomas has become a difficult person to live with. He’d say the same about me. I won’t publically speak ill of my kid, but we have major personality clashes tearing us apart. I think we’ll get along a lot better now that there is distance between us. I sure hope so.

I do, of course, miss my kid. But with him turning 18, his destiny is out of my hands.

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Natural Fibers

Posted May 20, 2021 By kmarrs

I’ve kind of wondered why it is some shirts are itchier to sweat in than others. Then I learned in the last 9 months you can be allergic to certain fibers. I started paying attention, and sure enough, I seem to have a mild allergy to polyester.

I finally sat down the other day and pulled out all polyester from my closet and all of it was things I stopped wearing anyway over the years because they made me itch. I had been on the fence about it but they don’t Spark Joy so it all went to Goodwill. I’m now slowly working on bringing more natural fibers into my closet. I’m mostly looking at linen and cotton. Though there will be a bit of spandex in some of the cotton blends as the low amount of spandex doesn’t seem to make me super itchy.

I’ve been thinking about buying a white linen dress as a summer wardrobe staple for a while now. I finally sat down tonight and did some searching online. I looked at hundreds of dresses, most of which just didn’t appeal, but I found this stunner in my size for like 20$ and I couldn’t resist.

I like that it’s white linen but there is still so much color to it! I guess most people when they think white linen aren’t picturing something like this, but I really love it!

You can find it in a multitude of sizes here. Mind the size chart.

I’m having fun finding new pieces for my closet, but it is super frustrating how most clothing is made of synthetics or super expensive. A lot of it is also super boring when it really doesn’t have to be. I think that’s why I like the above dress so much. It’s affordable linen yet has personality.

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