Monday, March 31, 2014

Love of Leniency Leaves Little Light

Another sunny day. 

Growing up is weird. At some point, you're grabbing hydrogen peroxide and a serrated kitchen knife, tucking them into your boobs and hiding in your room listening to Abandoned Pools thinking, "wait, am I fifteen again? What the fuck am I doing?"

It's like I've learned nothing in the past eight years. A minor domestic dispute upsets me so much that I'm trying to go back to something that doesn't help me anymore. Why? Well, let's be honest here - after you reach the point where endorphins no longer rush to meet the edge of your blade, there's only one reason to keep tearing into yourself. Scars. For some, it's a visual pleasure, the primary or a strong secondary reason why they hurt themselves in the first place. Scars are attractive to me but I realize that for the first time, I actually want someone to see these ones. This isn't a private affair anymore. I was going to cut lower than usual, flop around in my melancholy until someone noticed and then show them. I'm disgusted and I put the knife away. I'm too old for this shit.

You eventually realize that a majority (for those in the world who are totally healthy, basically all), of actions are within your control. Sure, my serotonin is all kinds of jacked up and probably other happy chemicals like dopamine are misfiring but they aren't forcing me to hold a knife to my thigh. I chose to do that. Why?

It's in these moments I try to remember what I read in I Hate You - Don't Leave Me, an actually helpful book my therapist once had me buy. By doing this, my husband will feel bad about the fight and all of the blame will be removed from me. I will be the victim and I will get the reassurance I desire that he actually still loves me, doesn't want to leave me over one tiny stupid fight and will do whatever I want. "Testing" your loved ones is a big indicator of borderline personality disorder. The same goes for playing the victim - because you don't have to take responsibility for things if you're just some sad, helpless little crazy girl.

And in a way, this sort of shows splitting - someone or something being all good or all bad. To me right now (or more like ten minutes ago, writing has calmed me down considerably), Nicholas is some bad, mean guy who hates me. It's like he's never held me close and whispered soft words into my ear as I shake and sob, as if he didn't move all the way from Oklahoma to Michigan because I told him I missed him too much, or he never brought me back something delicious while he was out just because he was thinking about me.

This is where borderline personality disorder gets weird. For years of my life, I would do all this stuff - test people, see myself as the victim, split my loved ones into whichever role they appeared to be playing at the time - and have little to no clue I was doing it. I knew I was crazy, I knew I was depressed and angry and felt helpless but the specifics were just beyond me being able to pinpoint. The disorder had made it so I was so convinced it was everyone else's fault that when I looked inward, it was still as if I was trying to find other people's fingerprints on my mind.

Once I went to therapy and read I Hate You, it was life altering. Suddenly, all my mood swings, self violence, dependency and fear of abandonment fit into a puzzle I had been trying to solve for what felt like my whole life. I've far from finished assembling it obviously since I still have episodes like the one described above once in a while but just being able to see the goddamn box with the complete picture on it has made everything actually manageable. I may have several hundred pieces floating around still but at least I know what it's supposed to look like when I'm done.

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