Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder…what’s worse? Week 5

I hope you find this week’s entry informative and helpful. I have really been struggling this week, trying to put the pieces of what sometimes feels like my shattered mind together.

I found the group this week hectic. Digesting what is happening is still very difficult and I am wondering just how much theory one can actually process when things are so emotional, not a lot, it seems for me.  I need the middle bit, the bit that embraces my comments and not a theoretical answer. One thing I do know, I am learning what I need, and what I don’t need and having my thoughts about what I already know reinforced and actually speaking up.  But sadly, somehow I feel that the missing bit for me is not really happening.  The bit that addresses the part of me that was so left behind and not listened to and is still screaming out to be taken seriously and empathised with in a loving, soft and gentle way.

I am even wondering if I will share anything because it can feel too re-traumatising to open up and then not feel supported in the way that I need to be supported……….I am feeling very confused, and I am sure that that is not really the purpose of it all.

One of the things that is becoming more and more apparent to me is that this illness stems from childhood trauma, lack of support and something happening.  One of the facilitators said that one of her clients told her that when she was not with her she may as well be dead, as she could not hold her in her thoughts, it is exactly like that for me and it is excruciating.  That is why one of my therapists told me that being with me is like groundhog day, I can’t hold onto people being with me even if they are away.  I am realising more and more what I have already known, this is because when I was a baby, my mother did leave me, when I was a month old, for hours at a time and never came back. I had nannies, one after the other and I did not have a care taker who was attuned with me and therefore, nobody came when I actually needed them, therefore my needs were not met, therefore I cannot hold onto people.  It all happens in the first few years of life.

I thought it would be useful for some people to know what the charity, Mind, have said in their booklet about what can cause Borderline Personality Disorder, together with  putting the actual definition of Borderline Personality Disorder on this blog, together with a list of the requirements needed to join this very special group of us.

Mind have said in their bookelt Understanding borderline personality disorder:

What causes borderline personality disorder?(in my own words)

Many people diagnosed with BPD have had traumatic experiences in childhood.  This could be the loss of a parent;  sexual, emotional or physical abuse or neglect. It is said that the problems associated with BPD can often become worse after a stressful experience, situations like loosing your job, your relationship or something else that you personally find stressful.

It is for this reason I really believe we need to take good care of our children, the fact that so many parents are under so much pressure does not help the whole situation when it comes to the nurturing of our children.  I really believe this illness is far more common than we know.  It is a natural response to the impact of child abuse and neglect and the pressures that so many children are under today.  I believe it really is time to change.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this is what our illness is made up of.

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects (mood), and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more0 of the following:

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (Note: do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behaviour covered in criterion (5)

2.  A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternating between extremes of idealisation and devaluation.

3. Identity disturbance: persistent and markedly disturbed, distorted, or unstable self-image or sense of self.

4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (eg: spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).

5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviours.

6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7. Chronic feelings of emptiness

8. Inappropriate, intense anger or lack of control of anger (e.g.,frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

I hope you have found this helpful, I  know I did.

Bravo – Esther Rantzen – has spoken out ‘I was abused as a child’

It takes a lot of courage to speak out about childhood abuse and I take my hat off to Esther Rantzen, who has been talking today in the Sun newspaper about her childhood sexual abuse trauma. It is essential for people to be heard and listened to when they have the courage to reach out and tell someone, like Esther, my mother brushed it off and told me that I would do anything for attention, this was when I was 15 and we drove past a road that I had not been on for years and I said ‘Fred lives there’ to which she replied, who is Fred? ‘I said the bar man who used to work for Daddy, he messed around with me when I was little’ to which she stared straight ahead, kept on driving and said, don’t be rediculous, you would make anything up for attention’!

The next time came at my Aunts 80th Birthday, I was standing in the reception with my back against a wall, my Uncle, her husband, also called Fred stood in front of me with his back to my mother and son, he ran his hands down my breasts and said ‘I can remember a time when I could do to you the things I would like to do to you now’ I froze, paralysed and then shook……….I walked away in a trance. By this time my mother was at the bar counter, I went over and said ‘Fred has just touched my tits’ to which she replied…………’don’t be rediculous’, I said ‘if you don’t listen to me I will scream this place down………..Fred has just touched me’……….to which she replied, ‘don’t say anything it is Auntie Joans birthday’…….I said it is always Auntie Joans fucking birthday as far as you are concerned.

I sat at that meal table and could barely eat, I was rocking in my chair and I felt about 5 years old and nobody listened, I could do nothing and it was a living hell……….it took me years to come to terms with what had happened and I urge anyone who is told anything like this, please listen and anyone who has anything to say, find someone to listen to you.

Thank you Esther for being so honest.

Middle Classes could be forced to live on the Streets……….according to the Mail online

Wow, I remember something similar years ago now, when the madness of increasing the interest rates, forcing people out of their homes into shelters or to council offices to find housing, only to be put up in another house and be paid far more than the mortage of their old house to stay there………………what!!! It is insane how this works.  This article is facinating. For some reason it is not ok for the Housing Benefit to pay your mortage, but ok for it to pay someone else’s…………how does that work?

The thinking is madness. I am a simple person and sometimes I think that is good, things are not so complicated and it just does not make sense. If someone has a breakdown for example, they can loose their job, then their home, their family everything, then what? Things need to change. Ordinary people, people loose jobs, loose homes, loose everything and then they are treated like shit, instead of sympathy, love and support, compassion to help them along the way.  Very few people actually want to be in the situation, the resources are stretched and surely it would make sense to sort it out at the level of the interest rates? It is not rocket science.

I know from personal experience the horrors of loosing everything and how that erodes the soul, well it did mine, and trying to get out and up again is a battle on a daily basis and one that some just are not capable to take on.