Friday, July 30, 2004

Ready to pass out

I am so damn tired it isn't even funny. Why can't I ever just fall asleep like a normal person?? Even though it feels like I'm on the verge of passing out, the minute I put my head on the pillow, it's as if a switch turns on in my brain and the thoughts just don't stop flooding in. Wonder if I should try sleeping upright. If my head never hits the pillow the thoughts won't come. Wishful thinking.

Spent the day at the beach today. Got so damn fried on my face and head I'll be peeling for a month. Tried to get these white ass legs of mine to tan, but they didn't even burn. Guess all those years of avoiding sunlight made it impossible for me to do anything but glow in the dark. Can't tan on my arms because I need to keep them covered. No one needs to see the scars, the battle wounds of life...especially not my daughter.

Ms. J asked once if I thought my daughter was oblivious to the scars because I do keep them covered. I'd be a complete idiot if I thought my daughter wouldn't know about them. Kids are usually more observant and smarter than most adults give them credit for. Besides, I've always had a great relationship with her. Always try to answer her millions of questions as honestly as possible while keeping in mind she's still a kid. She knows I'm a cutter and I gave her an explanation for why I do it that she would understand. But I don't keep the scars out in the open as a constant reminder to her or to myself.

We went to the bookstore yesterday, and I was looking up all the books they had on borderline. Seeing if there was anything new worth getting. I found a book about children of borderline mothers...can't remember the name now. Out of curiosity, I picked it up. My first thought was why does it only say mothers. I know a majority of borderlines are female, but there are plenty of males walking around with this diagnosis and I'm sure some of them are dads. Once I got past my "oh sure, blame the mom" thoughts running through my head that quickly ran off on different tangents...all negative of course...I paged through it a little bit. From what I read, it's primarily written for adult children of borderlines, but there was a quiz in it to see how living with a borderline mom impacted your life.

One thing I tried not to fail at was being a mom and everyone has told me I've done an amazing job. Even though I had never expected to have a child, I have tried my hardest not to have my daughter grow up in the environment I did. She does not doubt for one second I love her because I tell her so often. Always hug and kiss her, though she's a preteen now and she told me I couldn't do that when I drop her off at school anymore. I was able to discipline her without beating the crap out of her, which was the norm in my childhood. Even worked with her to acknowledge and validate her feelings, and help her find ways to work through them (which is kinda odd considering I can't do that with my own feelings).

Anyway, I decided to give her the quiz. I know her father has his reservations about her spending time with me because he's worried she will "learn to be borderline". Even though I pretty much raised her alone up until a year ago because the ass was always working. Figured if she was gonna learn to be borderline, she'd have done it by now and I don't see any of the traits in her. But still I had to give her the questions to be sure. As I suspected, she answered no to all but one. Can't remember what that one was, but I know it wasn't anything overly critical or negative. I'm sure I'll share this news with the ex so maybe he'll relax a little and stop listening to false information being fed to him by people that don't know a damn thing about what's going on with me.

I did end up buying a book myself, though I probably shouldn't have spent the money. It's called "Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified" by Robert Friedel, MD. I'd never seen it before and the copyright date is 2004, so I'm guessing it's a new one. It's been awhile since I had the concentration to read anything, so I was surprised when I managed to read the whole book in under 2 hours after we got back from the beach today. I think I even comprehended most of it.

What amazes me is that they always say knowledge is power. In this book the guy even says that "knowledge of the disorder, its symptoms, nature, causes and treatments, can help people make well-informed and highly effective decisions and plans". Yet every time I read one of these books I'm left with more questions than answers and I feel even more defective. I end up reading the books over and over, thinking maybe what I'm reading just isn't registering properly, but the end result is always the same.

He goes on in the book about how the brain works and talks about all the new research that shows it's a biological disorder. That several different areas of the brain basically don't function as they should. How environmental risk factors can play a part in someone becoming borderline. Lots of stuff I've read before except this time there was more detail. So after reading all this, the first thought that pops into my mind is "you're more fucked up than I thought. All these things are wrong with your brain, how is therapy and/or medication suppose to correct it??"

Guess I'm missing the point. Actually I know I am, but my brain refuses to listen and unless it does, my chances for survival are slim to none. There is no miracle cure for this. There's no pill I can take that will make me feel "normal", if there even is such a thing. Individual therapy and DBT will only teach me coping skills to help reduce my emotional reactions to people and situations. Though I continually wonder what effect therapy will have overall. I can't help but wonder how therapy will help me learn to be happy, rid me of my self injurious behaviors, fill the void inside, find out who I really am. I want to believe that's possible, but my brain keeps telling me those things are far from realistic.

Those flaws in my brain will always be there. I'm not perfect. As much as I try to tell myself no one is perfect, I can't help but believe I should be. I hold myself to a much higher standard than I hold anyone else, a completely unrealistic standard. Acceptance is crucial, yet I don't know how to get there.


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