blacksmoke

blacksmoke

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#21
a fab idea the talking buddy as this will help keep what you are learning, reg the sessions and the continuation of this at the fore.

new habits take some bedding in. and its practice and more practice that helps and especially if you are raising the stakes reg the possibility of a new job.

talk it out to someone regarding the overwhelm as this will start to slow the loop thinking down.
 
Poppy2014

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#22
I'm turning into someone I don't recognise. I'm opening up and asking for support and guidance.

I met up with Josephine my study mentor and we had a proactive meeting, we agreed I will be more forgiving of my "stupids" and rather than say I cannot go to the gym because I have not done x/y/z I will now say my head needs 5 minutes of personal space, my space time is in the gym and it does not matter if these things are not done tonight (unless they are critical)
The gym us not to be used as a reward for doing something nor a punishment to be withheld if I cannot do something or don't do it today especially in relation to my PhD
I explained that I am punishing myself because I feel like I am nowhere near where I should be and because I know it's my fault I am making things worse.
I know how to study, I know what I should be studying, I'm scared of putting pen to paper and failing
I don't really think I've ever acknowledged that before, even though it has been in the background I don't think I ever understood just how powerful the emotion is. I suppose it goes along with feeling inadequate and the imposter syndrome.
While ever I punish myself by not going to the gym and taking some time out I'm using it as an excuse to keep failing.
Now that's a revelation...
I also spoke to my line manager yesterday and we had a similar discussion, though she is also my new PhD supervisor, I also explained I have been falling backwards a little but nothing too dangerous, she really is all a line manager should be in terms of support I just wish she'd pull her finger out with some HR stuff.
Anyway as daft as it sounds she said to me is it as simple as me saying to you I give you permission to go to the gym and for it to no longer be part of your PhD programme, and a stupid as that sounds yes it is. She has told me that my gym, my space is not a part of my feelings, it should be a part of my life just as simple as breathing is. I should use it to be happy, settled, nourished not to be in pain, sad and hopeless.
So my journey begins. My personal space is in my purse, my gym card and bag are waiting. My new trainers are sat there waiting for me to chose them and for now the thought of belonging to the calmness I have when I enter the gym is exciting.
(I will not be saying this after the first session when everything hurts).

My first session will be next week as unfortunately for the 1st time this year I will be having surgery today. Hoping for day surgery but have been told to expect to be in overnight.
That's my journey for this week completed see you on the other side of the knife.
 
blacksmoke

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#23
gee Poppy such strides you are making. shows maturity emotional maturity.

yep the sabotage self, is at work. most folk dont make the connection. and those that do seem powerless to stop it.

sounds like you are having what i call a lot of revelations/insights. these always happen when we work on ourselves. its what i call black soil gold.

good luck with the operation Poppy hope it all goes well and that you make a speedy recovery.
 
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#26
gulp... Poppy... sounds very bad. hope things will turn out ok
I'm getting there, it is our son's 14th birthday today and to top off some of the things she has done to him over this past year she gave him £10 on Wed and told him she wasn't sure she would be able to get him a card but it didn't matter as long as he got the money. He told her she didn't have to do that he didn't need it.
I know she has had surgery and can't drive but why didn't she just ask me or OH or daughter to pick one up for her... just plain petty.
 
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#27
Week 16 post therapy.
I'm starting to write again, in preparation for writing to S again at week 21 I have been putting pen to paper and thinking about the current situation. It's long so I' going to post in parts

Well, I’m more than half way there and it’s been rocky in places. Other times it’s been great and I realised at Christmas while was away that I can actually do this. I actually get it... yeah I’m delusional too
I have had times when I think about you, and I’m really grateful for everything you did, for putting up with me, for seeing it to the end when you could quite have easily said no. It took a lot of courage for both of us, I think, to do what we did, and it is only now that I’m starting to feel the benefits. The odd thing is I still don’t actually know what we did, or how and why it should have worked. Then I realised I really don’t “get it” but I’m working with whatever it is.

I can tell you that there are times when I really want to talk to you, worry things out, not for any other reason than I know, you know, how to make me think and you won’t just give me the answers, you’ll make me work for them. Because you aren’t there I get really frustrated and this can tip me a bit, and then there’s been times when I’m really angry at you for not being there, but they are getting further apart. It’s these time when I wonder if a phased ending would have been better, as now there is no one and no hope of anyone, I either have to let go or give in, where at least with a phased ending I would have had a reason to hold on and try to work with it, though it would have still come to an end and I’d still be in the same boat. But it’s no use second guessing we did what did and 95% of the time I think it was the right thing.

I’ve realised what I need now is not therapy but a voice of reason, someone to offload even if it’s just to dump the rubbish on and not do anything with it, but I really don’t want to start with someone new so I decided I would have a go at being my own. It’s been entertaining I can tell you, there is nothing as frustrating as having a discussion with the rational part of yourself when the irrational part wants to take control. The problem is I can see the damn answer and because I’m arguing with myself I can’t get out of it... saying that it does mean I have made some pretty sensible decisions over the last few months.
I have been very careful at work, I sat down and planned out my year and told S2 it would be impossible to do next September like I did this year as I would be data collecting, and to do this and do it right I needed some space and time out. Consequently I have acquired a timetabling assistant and been temporarily removed from 2 modules. (Sensible (S) 1 – Poppy (P) 0)

I have also made full use of my study mentor to keep me on track and writing. (S2 – P 0)
But, the biggest decision I made with the support of S2 and J is that I am going back to the gym (S3 – P 0). This may seem minor but the reason I can actually do it is because of what we did, I allowed the vulnerable one to raise her voice (I let little mouse out again, enabled her to be heard and not overwhelmed by the irrational shiny perfect must do everything me). She recognised that I was using the gym as a punishment rather than a necessity and demanded that she be heard.

In my head the gym is a place where I enjoy total peace, where the world disappears and my total focus is on my body and the sensations there. I have not been to the gym for quite some time now as in my irrationally logical head I can’t go and do something I enjoy when I haven’t done something I should, write a presentation, write a section on my article, or PhD, it became a vicious roundabout, I couldn’t go because I hadn’t done x and now I haven’t done x+y so I definitely can’t go. J, S2 and I have worked on separating the 2 and as daft as it sounds the answer finally came from a conversation with S2 who asked me if it would help if she said she gave me permission to go as my academic supervisor. She asked me to go to the gym and spend 10 minutes there before I came home and did 1 of the case studies for my article. So I did and the 1st study was complete, then the second. She has said I cannot use the gym as part of my PhD at all. The gym is just like my hospital appointments, part of my contract and has a timetabled slot and just like that they are now 2 separate entities (S4 – P 0).
 
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#28
part 2 apologies for the swearing (this may trigger some people, talk of parental death and anger)

The New Year brought with it some entertainment, the end of Jan and Feb were corkers, first D had surgery on his legs this and the next day my mum fell. She caused chaos. Emergency surgery on Wed for an open fracture of her wrist, and a dislocated elbow. A short spell in ITU followed by more surgery to finish the wrist work, another ITU stay, and then 9 days after the injury a shoulder replacement and another ITU stay. She came home 2 weeks to the day after the day she fell. In between that I finally had surgery on my elbow (9/2), I’ve got 4 months left before they operate on my knee, and then a final one on my other elbow. But all that didn’t tip me over, I tripped up a few times and really annoyed myself but I managed to bring it back into line.

However a 5minute conversation with my mum…

How can she drive me to the edge in less than 10 seconds and how am I going to stop her having this much effect? I really hope she doesn’t know what she’s doing because I can’t believe any mother would be so much of a bi*ch?

The day she was discharged I had 30 minutes by myself with her waiting for her meds. She turned and said to me I’ve been waiting till there’s no one else here. I wanted you to know your dad came, (he’s dead)... I was dreaming about his sister and that she’d come to see me but she was so much younger, like she was when we got married, when your dad came rushing through the doors, he was absolutely distraught, he was so worried about me and really upset that he couldn’t been here for me. I told him to stop being silly, I was doing alright now, I just needed a few pain killers. I told him he needed to go back as I wasn’t coming with him right now, I’d see him when it was my time… Oh P, he was so upset. He’s been before do you know? I’ve heard his voice when my CPAP has been off and he’s warned me, but this is the first time I’ve seen him. It was lovely, he cared so much about me... what a load of fu*king bo*l*cks.

The fu*king bi*ch is she purposefully driving me up the fu*king wall. He didn’t give a rats ass about her nor her him, now it’s a perfect love story, he’s devastated in death, more like he’s worried that she going to go over to his side and he wants to keep her here longer for the fu*king peace. They fu*king deserve each other… and yes I know there are other words in the English language but why go looking when one covers it so well..?

She then told me she wants to change her will to put her nieces (A and L) in because they have helped her so much and she really loves them, she wouldn’t know what she would do if they weren’t there. They didn’t get anything in their mothers will as it went to their dad and when he died they were didn’t get anything then as he’d cut them out of his and “it’s not fair”. These nieces are the one’s she wanted along their mother (J), the ones she (had me) call for when my dad died. J was one who came up to me while I was stood outside trying to get my head round the conversations I just completed and the one left to do, and told me that she hadn’t come for me it was my mother she cared about, just great.
 
blacksmoke

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#29
I'm getting there, it is our son's 14th birthday today and to top off some of the things she has done to him over this past year she gave him £10 on Wed and told him she wasn't sure she would be able to get him a card but it didn't matter as long as he got the money. He told her she didn't have to do that he didn't need it.
I know she has had surgery and can't drive but why didn't she just ask me or OH or daughter to pick one up for her... just plain petty.
ah yeah its sounds a pitiful effort and like you say...mother's hey
 
Poppy2014

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#30
In the end I finished my writing, or at least what I wanted to say. Once I got to the end I also realised that I didn't want to wait, I didn't want to make week 21 or week 26 anymore important than they were.
So I sent it to S. I told him it is finally time to say goodbye and to thank him for everything.I didn't want a reply or any acknowledgement of the email. I just wanted to send it.
So last Wednesday I did just that.
I sent him the finalised version of the poem, I added to it to cover the ending and the letter.
It's time and I'm ready to put my journey to bed now.
I really appreciate all of your support over the year it has been amazing.
I'm going to have a little time away and spend the next few months focusing on my job and my PhD and trying to develop a new life.

I'll still pop bye and say hello, particularly to those who pm me, please don't stop, I enjoy our conversations. But I'm not going to write any more on here.
Take care everyone. I just want to give some people hope that you can make a real change in life if you have the right therapist and the right therapy at the right time.
Xxx Poppy
 
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Poppy2014

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#34
This was the end of the letter to S, it needed to be sent as it was becoming a stone around my neck and taking on a life of it's own, one where it was given too much importance.
I didn't expect or need a reply from him, to be able to send it was enough. However he did reply and it was enough, it meant a lot and even though it was only one line it wrapped up our 50 sessions perfectly.
So that's it. My journey with BPD is finally over, I am no longer fighting it and trying to beat it, but I am finding a way of letting it live with me, be part of me without taking over and I am comfortable with that.

- For me this was my crunch, I am absolutely fed up of giving her the power to hurt me so I took a real look at our relationship and what I can / can’t / must / can do and came to the only real conclusion. She is my mother and a 68 year old women with serious mental, physical and medical problems, she is in a lot of pain and she knows she doesn’t have many more years left. But she has more than one condition I can do something about in order to make sure she does not suffer more that she has to. I cannot sit by and let someone suffer needlessly when I have the skills to stop it. No matter what I want, I will never be able to change her, she is what she is and this is it. Nor can I stop seeing her as my brother will be suspicious and want to know why and even though he has realised she is a bitch he doesn’t know just how deep that goes. I will always protect him, and in some ways myself. I do not want his condemnation for not telling, nor do I want him to tell.

I can let our past burn, hurt and cause me mental and physical distress when I see/hear her or I can accept there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, but I can control my response to it and to her. I cannot ever forgive her, even I am not that good, but I can acknowledge she did what she did for reasons of her own no matter how abhorrent they are to me, she must have thought it was right for someone. Her decisions made no one happy and consequently the son she tried so hard to protect has abandoned her, made his decision that his wife and children are worth more than her. Due to this decision she has lost the love of her only daughter and her family, and is now so bitter that she has started to alienate her remaining son, and she must realise that none of her own children will mourn her death. That realisation has got to be a bitter pill to swallow.

This means I am actually able to actually feel sympathy for her, and because of this I am finally in a place where I can accept her without any pain.
We did good you and I… out of everything currently happening this is one of the main places I really needed to get to.

I eventually managed to talk M out of the rafters, as far as he’s concerned she won’t be getting a card from the kids as she doesn’t really need it. He is really struggling with her attitude towards our kids, so I’m trying to bring him into my calm, but he is so very angry he doesn’t get how I can have suddenly changed. I do, I know when I look at the damn states map you drew and overlap it with my endings map and look at how to bring them both together it’s very much like the final ending letter I wrote, otherwise known as the good, the bad and the ugly! Although it’s more like Dynasty at the minute…

Who knew some many feelings could happen in just 16 weeks?

But I still haven’t lost it totally, I haven’t had a proper cyclone, (had a mini tornado) see above but it was self-terminating and over within the hour. I have not and I think I can be justifiably pleased with myself taken the car for a drive, and since those first two weeks I have never driven at speed in anger, I’m working on road language…) apparently D can repeat the words I use in some situations…and although the speed has crept up a few times it generally stops mid 80’s and that’s only because I’m in a line of traffic, I don’t go in the fast lane if I can help it and this is a targeted approach. (S4 – P1)

I haven’t been playing with mirrors, I haven’t played Subbuteo, I haven’t done anything drastic that I need to apologise for, I haven’t sent any stroppy emails nor have I taken anything out on Mick or the kids. I have been sensible and asked for help when I need it, and listened to the advice given when asked for it (S5 – C1).

But the fly in the ointment was a fall back into bad behaviour number 3 (S5 – P2). I couldn’t say what triggered it at the time, but looking back it I know now it was the build-up before asking for help, I was becoming overwhelmed and didn’t recognise it to start with (I was even having hypersomnia attacks including falling asleep in the office and having serious insomnia which makes the attacks worse when they hit) and when I started to recognise what was happening I felt pathetic for thinking about asking for help as I should be able to cope, everyone else was.

What I hadn’t factored was in one week D had surgery, mum had her accident, surgeries and ITU stays, I had 3 lots of marking, and 4 new lectures to prepare in the same week, then on the Friday I was given my surgery date for the week after. On top of that I had 17 hours teaching in the week and I needed to write 1000 or so words for my PhD supervision, had 48 hours’ notice that I needed to submit my module requests for the next year and had to be in Uni to do it, when I would be in surgery and off for those 48 hours and finally I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to apply for another promotion.

It took 2 weeks before That Up there week and the Monday /Tuesday of the second week of this mess until on my way to work I realised I was completely overwhelmed and in a dark place (bad thoughts started floating by on the motorway barriers (S6 – P2)). I managed to get into the office and curl up into a heap of angry pathetic tears. Once that was over I metaphorically slapped myself sensible and did something I should have done 10 days ago. I checked my diary and saw S was free, fate? I walked out of the office, asked for help, took it and immediately the lifting stopped. Lesson learned; final tally, Sensible 7 - P2.

To finish up, I debated about sending you this at week 21 which would be the first time I have ever reached that far without acting on the thoughts even though I have had them or to wait while week 27 which is 1 week past the 6 month deadline I gave myself to know that I was finally okay and will be the only time I ever got that far without a therapist.

In the end I decided to do now, because it’s time, it feels right and I finally feel strong enough to say goodbye.
Thank you for everything.
Poppy
 
Poppy2014

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#35
To finish up.
A few weeks ago I posted the start of a poem that covered the first 10 months of my work with S, this is the final version, it covered 525 days of therapy and 133 days since I had my last session.


Thoughts

It’s hard to explain, there’s a lot to be said,
About what it’s like to be inside my head
There’s hatred, denial, a lot of self-doubt,
Anger and isolation, there’s no way out
I’m trapped in a body filled with self-loathing and rage,
Where seconds feel like hours and hours feel like days
My body wrecked with pain, my mind plagued with fear,
I’m ready to battle, conquer all who come near
Terror turns to anger, outbursts to shame,
Is the pursuit of happiness just the pursuit of more pain?

I’ll pull and I’ll twist and I’ll push till you crack,
I will make you take your reassurances back
But you are stronger than that, you stayed and you pushed,
You gave me time and space, I did not feel rushed
It became easier and easier to talk and not lie
We spoke of the future rather than wanting to die
We spoke of evil and monsters, of kindness and love
Of family and children, of work and of books
We explored hurt and abandonment, anger and fear
Cyclones and bounces, narrating and tears
We talked of puppets and masters, of husbands and wives
Of what it meant to move on with my life

The end it was painful, I hated it all
I had day dreams and nightmares while waiting to fall
As expected, it happened but something was wrong
It wasn’t a real fall, it didn’t last long
I was able to stop it, to practice self-care
To recognise that I was getting there
It’s hard to explain, there’s a lot to be said,
About what it’s like to be inside my head
There is love and acceptance, a little self-doubt
Peace, friendships, emotions are finding ways out

Then Christmas came and I finally knew
That I was happy and safe, I no longer need you
It started to work, people finally saw
That I wasn’t perfect, that I needed more,
What can we do for you? How can we help?
You know we are here for you, you’re not by yourself
No one complained or said that I must
They gave their support to me, they gave me their trust
I was really surprised and I’m still a bit shocked
That I don’t have to be perfect, but just good enough

But, sometimes, just sometimes the doubts creep back in
I become angry again, I let it win
Old friends come to visit, they want me to play,
They still have the power to ruin more than my day
But I have a new friend, she is powerful and strong
Everything that I want to be, minus the wrong
A mouse with a roar that demands to be heard
Sharing the answers, the knowledge and the words
She understands anger, she understands pain,
She understands why I am falling again
She doesn’t mock me and she doesn’t shout,
But gives me her hand and guides me back out

Every day I will fight, for I know it is near
The life that I hope for not the one that I fear
It’s hard to explain, there’s a lot to be said,
About what it’s like to be inside my head
There is hope and fear, there is happy and sad
There are wants, dreams and wishes, there are thoughts that are bad
There is life, love and friendship, there is death and despair
There is anger, fear, isolation, there are people who care
I will fight, I will battle and each day I will win
Because I… Do not fail, I… Do not give in
 
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Poppy2014

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#36
I have a story to tell and a end to finish but sometimes just sometimes there are things that deserve to be told.

I had a full blown rant a few days ago, an absolute rage at the world (well in my case my mum)
My husband and I had arranged to go away for a celebration of we have finished therapy, we are getting better, we deserve our time and we both deserve to be loved and together. For the first time in 27 years I finally believed I had a right to a family and a husband all of my own.

I may have said somewhere that my mum had a bad accident 8 weeks ago now, one that will take months if ever to recover from, and suddenly I have been drawn back into her life and needs, but I was starting to feel strong enough to deal with it.
Then out of the blue, we were talking about holidays and I happened to mention that OH and I were thinking about cruising round Norway as a treat. A couple of days later she had not only invited herself but my uncle (dads brother) on our cruise.

I melted, hit the roof, bounced out of the stratosphere, and then waited for the hammer to fall, the cyclone to hit and the suicidal and stupids to arrive.
But instead I was able to stop sit down and think, for the first time in what seems like forever I was finally able to say, you know what Poppy, you have a right to be mad, you have a right to be angry and upset, this is a perfectly normal reaction it is not because you have BPD, it is not because you can't control yourself, it is a perfectly normal reaction.

There was no bounce, no cyclone, no suicidal thoughts, no lifting, no driving, just a simple initial anger that settled into a decision to do what we want and without her.
OH and I will be going on our cruise together we have decided this, and she will not accompany us and we will stand our ground on this.

This is the result of therapy, the stuff I still don't understand, but has given me tools to use that are fundamental shifts rather than superficial practical answers.

Life, my life feels different, I feel different in my own skin, more settled, more aware, and more able to react faster when I slip into old states. I'm not saying I'm in anyway perfect or cured, but definitely able to understand myself better.
 
blacksmoke

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#37
Blimey Poppy by jove that is so right in regards to
I was able to stop sit down and think, for the first time in what seems like forever I was finally able to say, you know what Poppy, you have a right to be mad, you have a right to be angry and upset, this is a perfectly normal reaction it is not because you have BPD, it is not because you can't control yourself, it is a perfectly normal reaction.
That is what I mean when I say we are not our labels. I was feeling angry on your behalf as I read this. So bloomin normal reaction! we are so brain washed to believe in our labels that we loose our way i know i did.

Hey brilliant that you have a bottom line now the hard bit is to stick to it. yep sounds like the therapy is definitely helping you now in a way that medication never can.
 
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#38
I've just had a lovely compliment paid to me by a student.

She is in crisis and said I knew when I woke up today I wasn't well, I saw my Dr who has sorted my meds out and said I need to contact university to let them know as I might need some more help.
The only person I wanted to talk to was you. I knew you would support me and tell me the truth.

This is what being a nurse is, this is what gets me through the tough times, those students who want to be nurses, who are doing the best they possibly can, turning up when they are so desperately struggling and when they need some support are brave enough to ask, knowing that I am tough on them. But when they do find me they know I will do everything I can do to help them through this to graduation.
This keeps me happy, keeps me teaching, keeps me, me.
There are times when I really love my job and my students...
 
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#39
Hey Poppy

What a really great reflection of your personality...

And how you are seen by your students...

They are obviously very impressed with you and find you very approachable...

Well done you!

:hug:
 
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#40
I don't know whether it's brave or stupid but my PhD supervisors asked for a reflection about something that happened in supervision last week.

I thought long and hard about writing a personal and truthful reflection, but I did and I've sent it in before I chickened out.

While I understand PhD reflection has to be formal, and this one does follows a proper reflective model, the language isn't "formal" but it is powerful and truthful. I wanted them to understand how I write, feel, so it is very much in the same vein as I wrote to S during therapy.

My director of studies has just answered, I'm not really sure what to make of his reply. I suppose I'm just going to have to wait for the feedback.
One day I will get this right.
Hopefully soon.
 
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