Monday, November 16, 2009

Lovely Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With it comes the dread & anxiety so many unchosens associate with the holidays. It may seem like you have nothing to be thankful for, but you do. You are alive. You are a survivor. If that’s not something to be thankful for, then I don’t know what is.
It seems so many of us get caught up in our own unrealistic expectations of the holidays. We so badly want a nice, loving family day that we almost kill ourselves trying to make it happen. Well here’s a news flash-we can’t control our BPD parent. We can’t control their behavior, their rages when they don’t have their way or their hurtful comments when the turkey isn’t done the way think it should be. Below are some hard lessons I have learned over the years.

1.It’s ok to skip thanksgiving. Really, it is. Take your day off from work and have a me day. If you have your own family, go to a restaurant, volunteer, or make a new tradition of sleeping late and making brunch instead of the traditional huge meal. Less stress for everyone involved. If your parent is angry that you don’t stop by or participate like other years, that’s their problem to deal with-not yours.
2. In one ear, out the other. Repeat after me-in one ear, out the other. Let all negativity from your parent (anyone, really) go in one ear and out the other. It is not your job to “fix” people or holidays to your parents liking.
3. Set ground rules, and follow thru. This one only works when the festivities are at your own home. Mom likes to name call? Dad pitches an annual rage before the turkey is carved? Let your parent know ahead of time that these behaviors will not be tolerated. They will probably accuse you of treating them like a child, which emotionally your parent is, but that’s just too damn bad. Your house, your rules. If your parent can’t abide by your rules, calmly pull them aside and ask them to leave. Be a broken record. Repeat as often as necessary these words “I’d like you to leave now.” Don’t negotiate with the emotional terrorist. Don’t allow them the power to ruin another family dinner. If they claim they forgot the house rules, too bad. They’ll “remember” next time, I promise.
4. Plan your escape. I always felt trapped when I was at someone else’s house and my mom would freak out on everyone. I was a kid who wanted to just get away. As soon as I bought my first car, that changed. I drove separately so I could leave when I wanted. Of course, you want to be gracious and polite but if your parent is raging or otherwise flying the BPD flag and the urge to flee strikes, go with it.
5. Scale down expectations. Is the whole day of festivities just too much? Scale it back. Meet for the annual touch football game and then tailgate or do your own thing. Offer to host coffee and dessert in the late afternoon/early evening. If you are hosting the big dinner, make it a simple menu and/or ask others to contribute a specific dish. Buy the meal if you want. No one cares how much time you spent making turkeys out of almond paste. Keep it simple, silly.
6. Enforce your boundaries (goes with #4). Does your Borderline parent take holidays as an excuse to list all your shortcomings? Tell you how great everyone else’s kids are while you are dirt? Or maybe like me, it’s just hard to watch your parent praise your other siblings while ignoring you or treating you like a scullery maid. You don’t have to take the crap nor should you. However, calling your parent on this stuff will just result in an even bigger spectacle. Walk away if your parent insults you. If you are being used as the maid, you have 2 options-grit your teeth and bare it or ask a sibling, aunt or cousin, whatever, to help. Chances are they see what’s going on but don’t want to rock the boat. If it’s all too much, it’s OK to leave.
It may seem like I advocate leaving quite a bit, and I do. I admit it. I have never seen a holiday turn out well where someone stays in a situation where they are verbally abused/emotionally manipulated. Yes, it’s only one day. If you can make it thru the day and not drive home in tears, then stay. I can’t do that. I have gotten to the point where after 30 years I couldn’t take her crap anymore and would not subject myself to it. So I decided to leave when I was at my limit, rather than being the good girl I was trained to be, the girl who took mom’s name calling and barked commands with a smile, all the while knowing that to her I was nothing more than a free maid. I leave gracefully, politely, never in a huff and never with a slammed door. Some of my best Thanksgivings have been frozen pizza at home, thankful for the home my husband and I have, and for the sense of security and stability we have built there.
All too often unchosens think that this is the year it will happen. This is the year that the family will finally have a normal Thanksgiving. No fighting, no tears, no slammed doors or silent dinners where everyone is afraid to speak because the tension is thicker than the mashed potatoes. Unchosen are a pretty optimistic bunch. Most people after a lifetime of crap holidays would give up but not us. We will have the Currier & Ives Thanksgiving, dammit, if it kills us.
So we let it slowly kill us. Year after year we hope, we plan, we try to control it all so our parent is happy. It gets to the point where we hate the holidays. Don’t let that happen. So what if you don’t want to invite your parent and they will be all alone? You aren’t their social director. And we all know there’s a good reason our BP parents wind up alone. It’s an accumulation of their years of manipulation, abuse, and mind games. They made their bed and it ain’t your job to get them out of it. Your job is to enjoy your life, your Thanksgiving, on your terms, not your parents.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yo, Joey P.

I logged onto Joe Pantoliano’s website tonight called “No Kidding, Me Too!” I really liked what I saw especially their slogan “Stomp Out the Stigma.” I perused the site, found lots of cool things, and read their mission statement. It reads in part:
“No Kidding, Me Too! is an organization whose purpose is to remove the stigma attached to brain dis-ease through education and the breaking down of societal barriers. Our goal is to empower those with brain dis-ease to admit their illness, seek treatment, and become even greater members of society.”
Could it be? Have I lived to finally see people with some clout taking up the banner of mental illness awareness? I especially like the line “…to admit their illness (italics added by me)” To admit their illness…wow. That’s powerful for unchosens like me. It’s all I ever wanted from and for my mom; to admit she had a problem. To then finish whatever treatment her psych wanted her to do…to not doctor shop…to learn that she is a human being of unlimited potential.
I am all for organizations stomping out stigma. But, and this is me so there is always a but, it needs to be a family issue, not an individual issue. There needs to be open and honest dialogue about what it’s like to have a mentally ill parent. Unchosens need to be given the chance to tell others what we live with; the fear that at any moment our parent will snap and be taken away to the psych ward…the parental roles we assume for our ill parent…the double lives we lead, putting on a show for the outside world because to tell anyone that we are abused or neglected means WE get lectured. We get lectured that we have to understand our parent is ill (yeah that’s not a tough thing to understand when your mom freaks out over vacuum lines in the carpet), that they can’t help it when they hit/punch/spit on us/or call us names.
My mom may not, in fact, be able to control what she does. I believe that, that there are times she can’t control herself. But when all you tell a child is that we shouldn’t take it personally, that our parent can’t help it, and you offer us no solace or hugs, no words telling us “your mom is ill. It isn’t right what she did” you are showing us that we deserve this abuse. And that’s what it is, mental illness or not-abuse.
No one wants to talk about the fact that some mentally ill parents are abusive yet everyone wants to get rid of the stigma. The only way the stigma can be erased is to have an open dialogue about all facets of mental illness. No more sanitization or minimizing about the impact a parent’s mental illness has on a child. This means no looking away from an unchosen when we speak, no taking the mic from us at support group meetings when we say we are so tired, and just want a break or that we no longer want our parent in our lives. Yes, this has happened to me. I was told to come back when I could be more compassionate towards my mom.
Funny how I lived with a woman who showed me no compassion…saw family therapists who had no compassion for myself or my short I was never shown what compassion was but if I wanted “support” I damn well better learn what it was or else. Sometimes I wonder if these support groups have a secret store or something, they are always telling you to get something-compassion, awareness, patience, like we can just go out and find it at K Mart.
“Blue light special in aisle 5….compassion for your mentally ill, abusive parent. Industrial size, buy one get one half off”

Only when people such as myself or my siblings can openly and honestly talk about the fear and anger we grew up with and not get shut down or silenced will the stigma of mental illness be gone. The stigma will not end without unchosen participation. To think it can is an illusion.
I applaud what Mr. Pantoliano is doing. It gives me hope. The organization he started is well on it’s way to stomping out stigma. Let’s hope in the future he and others can stomp out the stigma that children of the mentally ill don’t matter

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nifty Little Article Says It All

I saw this article today and I have to say, the author really captured what it is like to live with a parent that is narcissistic/borderline. Take a look, it's some good (but hard) reading about what unchosen go thru. A big thanks to the author, Chris, for putting it all into words so succintly.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

Friday, September 18, 2009

Even Pedophiles Have a Facebook Page

FB is dangerous for people like me. I grew up surrounded by secrets and omissions, so as an adult I have a dogged determination to know things. Most things I want to know are things people don’t want to talk about, such as why my dad married my mom, just how in the hell does my mother afford her swanky new pad and brand new car on her supposed “paltry” income of bogus SSI and undeserved alimony, and what kind of life does the pedophile who abused me lead? For the latter, I guess I don’t have a really good explanation. Who wants to know this stuff? I do. And I guess the reason is, is that Creature (as I call him) devastated my world and set in motion over 20 years of my parents being in denial and backstabbing their daughter. I needed to see what I could of the type of person he is how.
Is he still the same effeminate mama’s boy that we all know should have been a girl? Can he still spin his BS in a masterful tapestry that one only learns at the knee of a narcissistic mother as he had? Does he still refuse to take any responsibility for any of his actions, instead preferring to blame and wax rhapsodic about pop psychology all in an effort to get you to forget the real topic of the convo? I needed to know this, so I looked him up on FB.
And there he was, in all his fat faced, washed out nelly glory. As soon as his face popped up I felt my eyes glaze over a bit. I had to breathe thru my mouth so the tears stayed behind my eyes. I wanted to see this pathetic excuse for a human being. I didn’t want any tears blinding me; I’ve shed enough of those. I don’t have time for them anymore. They get me nowhere and keep me trapped in a survivor’s limbo I want no part of. Well…I tell myself I want no part of it. The truth is, I was forced to suck it up and deal for so long that at least in this part of my life, I can’t cry. I'm just done with the tears. Sometimes I think that means something is wrong with me. I wonder if I have a dead zone inside of myself, a robot or something. Because when I see his face, after the initial shock, all I could think was “someday, asshole, you will get yours. And I *will* be there to watch you cry in all your pathetic loserness, wailing when you realizing that mommy and daddy can’t get you out of this.” I felt an anger so cold it burned, and a determined patience unlike anything I have ever felt. I felt like an assassin, just waiting for the right time to go in for the kill. And NO, I do not mean that literally, so don’t freak out and report me for saying I wanted to physically harm the freak. I believe in the justice system and the universal laws of nature, i.e. what you do comes back to you magnified.
I do dream about seeing his face when he realizes how many people know what he is and what he’s done. My mom and her sister, Creature’s mother, have told people for many years that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. That all that happened was 2 kids playing doctor. Nice try but no. 13 years old do not play doctor with 4 year olds and if they do, it's called ABUSE. My dad played along. Not maliciously, I don’t think. He just didn’t know what to do and hated confrontation anyway, so what the hell…there’s no harm in selling your kid down the river, is there?
So I’m reading his page, ‘cuz the moron (or maybe narcissist?) has it open for the entire world to see. I see him mention a family reunion, and that’s the kick in the gut. When all the shit came down about NC, when I found out the reason mom shut me up for years was because she had already spun the abuse story to her advantage, when all that happened, that side of the family chose a pedophile over his victim. That’s just asinine. I wish I had stronger words but it is what it is. They are so afraid of image, of rocking the boat, that they would rather believe the lies of a mentally ill woman and a pedophile than the truth from the persons (my bro, sis, and I-we all survived it. I may have been the one physically/sexually abused but the abuse affected all three of us) who lived it.
It’s been made clear to me many times that I will be welcomed back into the fold if I only repent and “forgive” these people. I can’t do that. I won’t do that. And yet…they are still my family and I had some good times with them. To see this freak being able to participate in their lives while I am shut out is the cruelest twist of fate. The truth should matter, dammit. But it doesn’t. People believe what they want and create their perceptions accordingly.
I don’t what this whole experience of looking Creature up means. Does it mean I am stronger? Or that I am still a stupid little girl, looking for someone to give a shit? I don’t know. But I do know that someday, somehow, that report I made to the police will be connected with another police report and another. The dominoes will fall into place and I can look into the eyes of this twisted freak and say “When I was 18 I told you that I’d make you pay. It took me a while, but don’t worry; the party is just getting started.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life without BPD

I took a very long break, as you can all see. I had to find out if life really does exist outside of the sphere of BPD. You know what? It really does. I spent the last few months just enjoying life; watching good movies, reading good books, and connecting with friends new and old. But...this seems to be my life, advocating for children of the mentally and/or children of the personality disordered.
It's hard not to cry as I write this, because I have tried so damn hard for so long to get just one organization to hear the voices of us. I've sent letters and an editorial type biography to New York Presbyterian, detailing what life is like when your parent has BPD. They were all gung ho until they realized that I have No Contact with my mom. I was told that my article or whatever was not "in the spirit of helping people with BPD recover."
So basically, they didn't want their patients to experience reality. And you know what? Incresingly, that is the reality. More and more people with BPD parents are saying enough is enough, get out of my life. Many more are moving to extreme low contact because of the drama, the stress of suicide attempts, and the unhelpful mental health professionals who continually press us to be our parents caretaker. Personally, I think they do this in order to lighten their case loads and because they know that for some of us, our parent won't ever get help. These professionals are washing their hands of our parents and trying to make us responsible for them.

I've written to the NEA-BPD. 3 times. I have never gotten a response. They will gladly take your money for their overpriced coferences, yes, but as for telling you how to get involved? Nope. It seems to be some sort of mental health profesisonal fraternity or something. I don't even want to know the hazing initiations there!

I recently contacted NAMI again-we'll see how that goes.
I sent a letter to MindFreedom yesterday. I asked some questions about their mission and such.

It shouldn't be this hard to get involved. It's ridiculous that some major groups are so judgemental about children of the mentally ill. I would like them to walk in my shoes or the shoes of my friends. I *dare* a representative of eitherNY Presbyterian or NEA BPD to contact me and have an actual conversation with me. Not something in e mail, but a sit down, look me in the eye type of coversation. I doubt they will. If they do, I will be sure to tell you about it.

So that's where I have been. I guess it was a sabbatical of sorts, regrouping my thoughts and strength to keep fighting. Someday, somehow no matter what it takes, I will get out voices heard. It won't be a sugary sweet movie or book where all of a sudden I realize she really doesn't mean it, she's so ill, and gee mom let's just let bygones be bygones. It would probably be more on the lines of a book or miniseries that runs the disclaimer "Mature content. Viewer discretion advised."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dr, Drew, Nadya Suleman, and BPD

I watched an interesting interview today with the anchor of Showbiz tonight and Dr. Drew Pinksy. Nadya Suleman isn't addicted to fame, she's addicted to herself!
Here ya go-

I admit to being a little stunned that someone is finally saying the words that Dr. Phil was too chicken to say. It still shocks me when BPD is mentioned in the media. What doesn't shock me is that Ms. Suleman is finally being called out for her narcissism. I don't know if she has BPD but I can say she certainly has some traits of that and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
First, has anyone else noticed the ages of her 6 other kids? The kids are ages 7, 6, 5, 3 and twin 2 year olds. Anyone else notice a pattern here? She had another baby each time the previous one started showing the natural inclination of becoming independent and separating from mom. People with NPD or BPD don't see their children as separate human beings. These parents are not able to separate their child from their own selves. While most moms with a PD don't go on to have 14 kids, a lot of moms with a PD do go on to have more children than they can care for (financially, emotionally, etc.) in order to get their own needs met. As soon as one child becomes independent they have/adopt another.
I think that's a big part of Nadya's problem. She has spoken about the feelings of loneliness she experienced as a child. She's using these kids to fill a decades old void. It's as if she thinks these kids can go back in time and heal her hurts. A lot of people do this altho not everyone that has kids in order to heal a hurt is mentally ill or has a PD. However, red flags start popping up with people like Ms. Suleman.
She has no job, and says she lives on student loans. She says she doesn't get welfare, but then admits she gets food stamps and assistance from the state because 2 of her kids have special needs. Yeah, Nadya-that's called welfare. When you can't financially take care of any aspect of your children's care and instead have to rely totally on the government, you're on welfare, baby.
That's the other thing that gets me. It's the sense of entitlement she has. That entitlement issue is a hallmark of PD behaviors. This woman feels entitled to collect children as if they were beanie babies! She takes entitlement to a whole new level when she has 8 children at once, knowing they would need special care. And yes, that's a given. The human body was not meant to give birth to litters. Did she think of that? Did she wonder how she would be able to love 14 children, and bond with 8 preemies? Nope. She just wanted the kids, got a good deal at the fertility clinic and figured what the hell, it's a 2 for 1 special.
This woman and my mother are so similiar it's spooky. Mom craves a attention, just like Nadya does. Mom preens for any camera, and Nadya alyways looks put together. No frazzled hair, no towels over the shouldrt, no bags under the eyes like every other mother of small children and newborns would look. What mother of 14 kids has time to prep like?! Oh wait...a mother who has other people caring for her kids.
Mom also has no impulse control whatsoever. It's pretty obvious how this lack of control manifested in Nady'a life.
Mom had and HAS no concept of money. Neither does Nadya. Nadya has already paraded them her children television and her video blog via While I get it that she needs to make a living, that rationale is like saying the dynamite was there, so I had to blow up the building. This woman HAD a choice. She is continually choosing to sell her kids, plain and simple.
The saddest way mom and this are similiar is that neither should have had any kids at all. These children are here to serve their mom's emtional needs, as my sibling and I were. She can't possible bond with precious babies. That parental bond, whether mother or father, is so important. Unfortuantely for them their lives and independent selves do not count in Nadya's eyes. They have a role to play and Nadya will make sure they do no matter what the cost. This burden of being a parents ethereal dream is a heavy, heavy burden to bear. They are being set up to experience incredible amounts of chaos. Children who live in chaos CONTINUE TO CREATE CHAOS AS ADULTS. They also grow up parentified, angry, and at a high risk for drug and alcohol use. I pretty much went thru all of what I just typed so don't think I pulled that out of nowhere. I am speaking from experienc
Nadya is like a little girl trapped between the ages of 12-14. Little girls can't raise children! They can baby-sit but even then it's for short perioods of time. Many people with a PD are emotionally "stuck" at what was for them a traumatic age. Nadya likes the cute babies, seems reasonably responsible on the surface but...spend some time observing her and you realize her reasoning is flawed. It's the reasoning of a young girl, someone who doesn't have the ability see beyond tomorrow. As someone who was a young girl not so long ago, I can say that my reasoning at 12-14 was pretty much awful. I was like a butterfly, flitting to every new thing but never really finishing anything, not able to commit to a life changing event.
I feel for these kids. They are in for a nightmare and need all the prayes, hugs, and good thoughts we can send them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if my parents understand what they put the 3 of us thru. I know I said I was going to do a some stuff on venting, but this issue is more pressing to me right now. Does it even register to Borderline parents that the chaos they inflict stays with their child well thru adulthood? Does the non parent realize that their fear of being alone or divorced is teaching their child to stay in an abusive relationship? Both of you, Borderline and non parent, are teaching your child to live a miserable life! Why would you want that for your child?
I don't know if it's a generational gap or what. You know, my parents came from the whole generation of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, sticking with a commitment even if kills you, and generally shunning any form of happiness. Not that mine is much better-we pop a pill to control our moods, many of us move in with our parents because it's "too hard" to live in a a crappy apartment when we're young and just starting out, and in general feel entitled to the good life without having to work for it.
I just...I see a lack of understanding even in my own life. I don't think my dad gets it. He continued to stay married to a woman who handed their dtr over to a pedophile. He stayed married to her knowing that her treatment of his children wasn't just bad, it was abusive. He knew that, and he ignored it. He looked away because it was too painful for him to deal with. He let his children become the adults and he the child.
I struggle with that yet today. I don't know how to just relax and...act my age, I guess. I am 30 and I act like I am 60, so I am told. So responsible. So serious. What do I do for fun, people ask. Huh...not much. I never really considered fun was something I could have. That's something I am trying to change, albeit slowly and painfully. After living in fear of being laughed at or humiliated, I am finally ready to just get out and live life. But it's scary, and sometimes like tonight I am angry that I got so ripped off. I can't change it, I know, but I feel like my own parents ripped off my chilhood so they could continue their dance of denial. The video I am attaching is what I wish I my parents, or even just my dad, would say/acknowledge/admit-

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Brief How Y'all Doin?

I apologize for not getting part 2 of the vent series out. Finals, hand problems, etc. have been plaguing me recently. I will post soon! Thanks for all the inquires, I really am OK!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Anatomy of An Unchosen's Vent, Part 1 of 7

Before I start this entry, I'd like to give the defintion of a vent, taken from an online dictionary:
v. vent·ed, vent·ing, vents
1. To express (one's thoughts or feelings, for example), especially forcefully.
2. To release or discharge (steam, for example) through an opening.
3. To provide with a vent.
1. To vent one's feelings or opinions.
2. To be released or discharged through an opening.

Children of Borderline parents are not allowed to express any emotion the parent deems unacceptable. Expressing anger or embarassment about a parents behavior is strictly verboten. Attemtpting to talk to the non-parent is often a fruitless endeavor. The non-parent is often so consumed by the Borderline parent that little is left in the way of parenting.
Effective communication, getting along with others, etc. are all skills children learn through a parents example. When you are parented by a Borderline, you learn-
* Might makes right
* Whoever yells the loudest wins
* It's more important to "win" than to resolve a conflict
* Hurting, insulting, or generally cutting a person down is OK
* No other point of view is to be accepted over one's own. All other points of
view are to be ridiculed
Vents from an Unchosen are usually the result of our feeling stifled, ignored, etc by our Borderline parent. In contrast, and in my own experience, my Borderline Mother's vents always stemmed from 2 things-1)her huge sense of entitlement (she'd "vent" that people weren't listening when in fact they were listening just not giving her whatever it was she wanted), or 2)she'd use it as a tool when she felt someone had abandoned her (usually a friend who got wise to mom's ways). Honestly, I have never seen my mom "vent" for any other reason.
When you are exposed to and taught the above behavior, it's no wonder Unchosens tend to engage in what I call "epic vents." I will give the definition of an epic vent in a later post but for a quick defintion an epic vent is when you keep going...and going...and going, not realizing your friend on the other line of the phone has fallen asleep!
So, if these vents aren't helpful in the grand scheme of things why do Unchosens do them? First, it's what we know. That is not an excuse for poor behavior, it is a reason. And yes, I know the reason still doesn't make it right. Secondly, by the time we have had enough and have started to vent, we typically have lost all control over our emotions.

We wind up behaving like the parent who hurt us.

A HUGE difference exists between an Unchosen's vent and a vent from someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder. Unchosen's feel remorse and regret for the people they hurt. Borderlines are remorseful and regretful only that someone caught on to them and stopped the con. Unchosen's don't feel justified in hurting someone, whereas the Borderline operates almost solely within the "get them before they get me" mentality.
For a lost of us, myself included, the feelings of embarassment are the catalyst for deciding to change. Eventually we realize, with a sickening clarity, that our behavior matches that of our sick parent. We start to lose friends, jobs, and spouses. It's an awful feeling to realize that you are hurting others in the same way your parent so annihilated you.
Learning how to undo the Borderline parent's influence is difficult but can be done. What I and other unchosen must learn is to communicate as we live and as things happen, not to store things up until the pressure is too great. This just starts the whole circle again.
The 1st step is realizing what our venting style is. I will post more on the styles of venting on Friday the 13th. It should be interesting!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Vent Factor, 1 of 1 "Spinning Our Wheels"

Lots of people like to talk about needing to vent. Let's be honest, "venting" is a nice term for whining, bitching, and complaining. Venting, IMO, is a tool used for unrecognized anger.It has it's place, don't get me wrong. But I see SO MANY unchosen using the term "I need to vent" as a way to spin their collective wheels. The cycle of venting when you have a parent with a personality disorder is never ending. Seriously, the verbal attacks and phsychological assaults will never stop with an unrecovered parent.
So we turn to this thing called venting. We blow off our steam and clean out our filled to bursting psyches. We feel refreshed, lighter somehow. It's a heady feeling to get all that junk out in the open. Venting is almost always done with some sort of audience, be it a friend, a blog or a forum. Somehow this thing called venting just doesn't work as a single activity.
I have seen this again and again in real life-an unchosen vents over and over. It feels so good we just keep going....and going... and going. We beat the proverbial horse to death with ultimately the same topics. Sooner rather than later we realize that the same people who encouraged us to vent no longer return our calls or e mails. But hell, we don't care. In a way that almost mirrors our PD parent we just look for new people to listen to us.
What happens more often than not is that we end up chasing our tails. It's a vicious cycle, this venting. It's addicting, really. We get a high off of the release of our words.
But we get stuck. A lot of unchosen's can't seem to get out of "vent" mode and into talk mode. By talk mode, I mean having a "venting" session where we can hear the feedback of the person we talk to. So often, any feedback at all is considered to be worthless because the person we vent to has no idea what we are going thru (or so we seem to think). Because of the anger associated with venting, many unchosen (including myself at times) get extremely defensive when the person we vent to expresses anything but complete agreement with our thoughts.
I so wish I could just show my life as a movie. I want to alternately shake and hug the unchosens I see who spin their wheels with this venting. I want to scream "all it does is keep the cycle of crap going." I wish people could see how many people I have lost because of my need to "vent."
It doesn't have to be that way, and I promise that by Sunday I will have part 2 of venting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sarah Palin Has a Point

I recently attached my first name to my blog. Sorry, you aren't getting the last name. It's distinctive enough that I can be easily found, and that creeps me out. Call me a chicken or whatever you like, I don't need some of the more unhinged posters that resond to this blog showing up at my door.
That being said, I do owe it to a lot of people to put at least my first name out there. Sarah Palin recently spoke about anonymous bloggers hiding behind their blogs to verbally attack her. This isn't a political opinion peice, however; I'd like to point out that she is right. Anonymity gives a person greater freedom. Anonymity also has its place, such as forums and the like. When you're sharing your most private thoughts on a message board, hoping to find help for yourself, that anonymity is necessary.
Anonymity, hiding behind an avatar or screen name, has a responsibility with it. I am embarassed to say there was a time that I used that responsibility in ways to hurt other people. Not on this blog but on a forum I treasure to this day. I needed that anonymity in order to separate myself from the RL life me and the me that was hurting and searching for answers. That anonymity offered me the chance to share in ways that I wouldn't have if I had to use my real info.
That was then and this is now. Now, my goal is not so much to heal and put the pieces together so much as it is to help others heal and to raise awareness of what children of Borderlines go through. I can't do that hiding behind a screen name. It's disingenuous. I can't ask for someone to take me seriously if I can't take myself and my activism seriously enough to expose myself.
If my words are words that I would never say to another person, yet they are words that I want others to take to heart and learn from, then I owe it to whoever reads this to at least give you my first name. I admit to being afraid of being found by some of the more nasty elements out there, but what I really fear is my mom.
So you'll get my first name but not much else. At least not right now. I saw mom the other day at a store, and my first reaction (which was completely involuntary, btw) was to have tears spring to my eyes and look for the closest exit. The woman still scares the hell out of me. If she ever knew I wrote this and had exposed the topics that I have, she would make me pay. I have successfully extricated myself from her merry go round of anger once, but frankly I don't know how I could survive another round right now. My freedom, my wellness, is still too fragile 3 years into to No Contact to risk it. I hope everyone understands that and respects it.
I am going to start posting some new topics in the next few days. I'll be doing it in a serialization format. I have decided to try that because the sheer volume of some things wouldn't work well for a blog. They are simply too long. So I decided to serialize. It also has the benefit of allowing me to get things posted in a more in depth, concrete way and I can also post things on a more regular basis. I tend to be a perfectionist about this and stress myself out to the point that I don't post at all. Yes, I am working on that flea.
Thanks for understanding everyone, and I will post to you soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thank you, Bill Gates

I recently attended the NEA BPD conference in MN. I was excited to meet some of the experts in the field and put a face to names I have read about for so long. A lot of the focus of the conference was on scientific research regarding the ins and out of BPD. How was it caused, what's the best treatment, etc.
What I didn't hear a lot of was separate children of Borderline's stories. It's something I am starting to notice a lot. I don't know-are people afraid of us or something? So much emphasis is put on the family aspect that too many professionals, IMO, arent' able to see the big picture. Children of the mentally ill are treated as if we are software, the Access application just standing by to run a query or form a report about our parent (thanks, Bill Gates). It offends me. We are more than that. We are more than collateral patients or collateral caregivers.
Yes, we are the ones who see what happens when meds aren't taken. We see our parent wishing to die, telling us how they want to die, and then 5 mins later telling us that no, they never said that. I know that my mom can't be trusted to give accurate info. I know that. I also know that in order to help her, the docs have to have the most accurate info they can get.
So here is what I propose-
1.Ask us if we are OK giving info, don't demand it because frankly, we don't owe you a thing.
2. Beyond emergency situations where drug allergies need to be known or something like that, give us the option of letting us either give the info to you then and there or maybe let us bring back a summary the next day because you know what? If we brought them in, chances are we've been dealing with their latest crisis for quite a while and would welcome a break.
3. If we refuse to give info you must respect that. So many of use have been interrogated by doctors and/or other mental health professionals who infer that somehow the latest crisis was our fault. An exmaple is a doc I once dealt with who was livid that I didn't monitor my mothers meds. I couldn't tell him when she had taken her last dose of Seroquel and he just lost it, sneering me and saying "how can I help her if you won't help me?" See what mean? From then on I couldn't do it anymore. I am not going to be put on the hook for my mom's own reckless actions.
4. When you find out mom has 12 different scripts from 7 different docs, plz don't take it out on me. I am as much in the dark as you are about her doctor shopping. I can't control her and if I could don't you think I would have by now?
5. Don't punish us for our parents behaviors. My mom may not always know what she is doing but that doesn't give anyone the right to blame me or my sibs. She may feel suicidal because the 3 of us chose NC, but she can also choose to call a crisis line or any other on call psych service she knows. If she doesn't call or ask for help then that is her choice and responsibility (or lack of it). When so called professionals take the options of getting better out of her hands, which means facing the reality she helped create rather than allowing her to blame others, and put them into mine; it keeps her ill.

What I am asking in a nutshell is this-don't assume I have the answers because if I did I would have fixed my parent a long time ago.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm sure you all missed me

I haven't posted here for a few months. Had a nasty case of DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis and it was hard to type. But I'm back! Oh happy day. I am sure the whole 5 people who read this are rolling their eyes about now and that's OK. I'm used to it.
This first post for a new year will be short as it's midnight and I really need to start going to work on mondays. I hate mondays. Well, not really; what I really hate is my job; justlike everyone else in the world I want to be doing something else. But, I still have one and for that I am grateful. Kind of. No, really I am........*sigh*
So here are some things for everyone to ponder; things that keep me up late at night. As if I needed a reason.....
1. Do pharmaceutical reps train with real drug dealers or vice versa? I seriously ponder this. Think about it! Reps have their own territories just like dealers have their own corners. They all promise this drug will make you "feel real good" and have little to no side effects. All things dealers have said to me. And hey, when you buy in bulk both give a discount. Ah, capitalism!
2. How can countries in Europe get their drugs and/or treatments for so much cheaper than us average Joe's here in the USA? You really want to know? It's called Universal Health Care and price controls. The big pharma companies will tell you that price controls lower quality and stifle development which in turn stifles available treatments, which leaves people who really need these drugs with no alternatives for their mental health care. Speaking from my LIFE as a child of a mentally ill mother who had rows upon rows of these wonderful free market anitdepressants, I can tell you that zombifying someone with a mental illness is not a treatment. It is, however, a money maker. They make money while children such as my siblings and I worry about basic necessities such as how dad would pay the mortgage when mom's prescriptions ate up a huge portion of the family budget.

These are a few of my thoughts that have been knocking around my head for the last few months. Feel free to comment-keep it clean, keep it in topic, and if you feel a compelling urge to give a poor student money I won't turn it down. :)