I’m unsure whether to write this. It is all still a little fresh and yet, very old, having seeped into all parts of my life. So familiar but a shock. A more stable person might opt to be private for a time but I have the itch to write. Writing helps me process. Writing helps me communicate with those I care about. I’ve heard that my writing has helped others too, but I can’t write for that. Just for me, mostly.
Today, after a year of therapy, we came to an official diagnosis. The truth of it has been trying to seep into my awareness for some time, but I wasn’t ready until now. In addition to major depression and anxiety, I am coming to terms with living with Borderline Personality Disorder and Avoidant Personality disorder. It would also appear that I was mistaken about autism and if that is a factor for me, it is a minor one. It is possible that I have focused on everything except for the elephant in the room or the monster in the corner. And for people who live with borderline personality disorder, the monster is them.
I don’t mean to be harsh. Because the thing is that monster was likely some genetic component in my brain from birth, and given life by extreme trauma. It is what it is. When I realized that was what was going on, thanks to a very gentle approach by my therapist, of leaving breadcrumbs and knowing I’d find them, I was ready and willing to look at this monster in me so I can move forward.
One thing to note, is that I do not wish for sympathy by writing this. I’m very aware that my trauma self has reached and searched for various identities over the years and then embodied them fully. BPD and AVPD is not who I am. It is what I live with. It is not something I wish to identify with anymore than someone who has a visible illness. It is a malfunction of the brain and the brain is a part of our physical body. This much I know, deep in my core.
I am ashamed and embarrassed of the behavior that has caused harm to others, that has kept me unstable, that has kept me from meaningful relationships, when all I’ve ever wanted was to feel safe, be loved and accepted. But I know now that is my work to do. There was extreme abuse from childhood on. That’s a lot of years. I understand this. I have gone through a massive process of grieving and coming to terms with it all. And now I am in the phase where I am ready to accept my part in it so I can move on with what life I have left. Hopefully, it is a lot more years. These last two years have shattered me beyond recognition. The first step is to find my core self underneath the illness. I cannot go into a lot of details at this time, and this diagnosis may surprise a lot of my friends and followers. Or maybe not. I never intentionally meant to be anyone I wasn’t. That is also the illness and something I want to be mindful of and honest about. For me, honesty is freedom. Here are my cards and let’s go from there.
I’ve been very public during this whole journey. I wonder if that is part of the illness too. It might be. Or maybe that is just my wiring. There is a lot of shit out there about people living with BPD. I’m educating myself, obviously and this is just the beginning. I’m discovering what is really my magic, what are my gifts and what is just a delusion created by the illness. I have a very good therapist for this. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing but I want to be honest going forward, knowing I have a pattern of morphing myself and attaching to various personas. I want to have grace for myself when it happens but I am grappling with all I’ve shared over the years and feeling pretty stupid right now. Because I’ve always wanted to be a trustworthy person. I’ve always tried to be honest. I have to learn to separate who I am from who the illness made me. If that makes sense.
Two books that I am reading should you be interested for you or a loved one: Whole Again by Jackson MacKenzie and I Hate You-Don’t Leave Me by Jerold Kreisman. I am not far into either, but so far they are very helpful in getting in past my protective self to help me see what the illness does and has done. It’s super complex and difficult. But I am here for it.
Maybe you know you’ve hit on the truth when you can let out a sigh and say, “time to get to work,” even when you want to hide in shame.
It’s going to be a long journey and a rough one, but it is my journey to make. I think Myrtle would be proud of me for owning my shit.
I would like to stay alive to experience life differently than I’ve known. And that is up to me.
A note to my spiritual friends: please be mindful about comments you might leave. Mental illness is real. It does not negate my magic, but my story around magic grew it’s own life and I no longer wish to entertain this kind of thinking at this time. I have to be mindful of delusional thinking and that is mine to sort out. Telling me otherwise is not supportive and only serves to encourage me to bypass the very grounded work of healing my brain and heart. I know I am gifted or I wouldn’t have tons of feedback saying so. But it is a mystery to me how all that happens and I would rather just have it be what it is, living in this moment. Thank you.