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Self-validation and our current situation...

W

Wan Shi Tong

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Mexico
Being a BPD patient means experimenting a lot of feelings regarding myself, particularly about self-esteem and self-worth. I'm a lawyer, and the COVID 19 pandemic hasn't affected me as much as many others in my country (I'm from Mexico). My work allows me to do a lot of things from home, and that's what I've been doing. And that's precisely the problem. I never wanted to be a lawyer. And even though I learned to enjoy what I do, right now I feel like the most useless person in the world. Most of my cousins and my sister work in healthcare (physicians, nurses and dentists), and they are out there putting their lives at risk to keep us safe. And I am here, doing some boring crap about Local Attorneys General Offices (and, trust me, it is even more boring than it sounds). For some reason that's making me really anxious. Not only because of my family, but also because I need to feel that I am doing something for others.
I wasn't allowed to choose my career path, it was more of a circumstancial matter. And I don't have what it takes to become a physician (I have a huge phobia to needles that almost incapacitates me when I see one). I knew, from the moment I was meant to choose something to make a living, that I couldn't be a medical professional. But I'm also aware that I don't want to be lawyer. I like what I do, but it's not transcendental, it's not of any value. In the grand order of things, I'm just contributing to some really little effort to change things, and this tiny effort is not going to make any kind of impact at all. I'm not doing what I convinced myself I would be doing by this time in my life with my career, and that's making me feel like a failure.
I almost had a huge rage outburst a few days ago, when I tried to volunteer for some public effort and I wasn't allowed because of my professional background. And I wasn't angry at the people who told me that I couldn't volunteer for that specific task (it was for my safety). I was angry at myself for feeling so useless.
I know that my attitude might seem really childish, but I can't help it. And that feeling is really adding up to others that make me question my purpose in life. I am not happy with my relationship, I am not happy with my self-image and I am not happy with my career/job. And that's destroying me.
I've been having a lot of bouts of depression and that's causing me troubles with many other things. My emotions are out of control and I can't control my rage. A few months ago I really hurt myself, and I hurt myself again yesterday. I don't know what to think or what to do...
Sorry for my terrible English and for this post, I just needed to get it out. Everyone be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones. Sending you all the good vibes I can, wherever you are.
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2,012
Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone contributes in their own way.

If you are feeling helpless right now, empower others. Your education and expertise could help a lot of folks out right now. Consider doing some pro bono work. I don’t know what area of law you cover, but look to see where it can help others.

Criminal law - find someone who’s been charged for theft trying to provide for their family,
Civil law - help workers set up the framework to unionize so that they get paid sick leave if they get covid.

The only limit of what you can contribute is you. You can be someone’s hero.
 
W

Wan Shi Tong

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Mexico
Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone contributes in their own way.

If you are feeling helpless right now, empower others. Your education and expertise could help a lot of folks out right now. Consider doing some pro bono work. I don’t know what area of law you cover, but look to see where it can help others.

Criminal law - find someone who’s been charged for theft trying to provide for their family,
Civil law - help workers set up the framework to unionize so that they get paid sick leave if they get covid.

The only limit of what you can contribute is you. You can be someone’s hero.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment and for your advice. I actually work in criminal law, and I was involved in an effort to help prisoners in several detention centers, jails and prisons around the country to get medical help during this pandemic. We have a huge problem with pretrial detainees here (some estimations come as close as 85% of our total prison population), so many of them are actually there without being sentenced, or even heard by a judge. I thought it might be a good thing to do now. But our justice institutions are also under quarantine (only some people are working), so I stopped doing that.
I also work in human rights, and I tried to bring light to an enormous problem regarding our HIV+ Population being seriously unprotected during this pandemic. But I can't seem to finish anything I start. For some reason, I stop and I leave my projects to others.
I've been talking to may partner about this, and I realize how insecure I am about what I am and what I do. That's why I stop. I don't feel good at anything. I'm just someone who is scared of everyone and everything. And that's the worst part. Being scared of doing something, whilst being afraid of being a nobody.
I will try to retake the efforts in the initiatives I've been working. And I will fight with everything I have to achieve something. I will also evaluate what I'm doing. I've been told that I'm not too old to change career paths so, I don't know, maybe there's something for me out there.
Again, thank you so much for reading my post. Be safe and stay strong.a
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2,012
You should be proud of what you are doing to help. You are making a difference.

Dig your feet in, focus, you can do it. Your work can save someone.
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,780
Location
London, ON
I think a big part of how you are feeling frustration, something people with BPD don't deal well with. Your empathy drives you to want to help, and the covid crisis doesn't lend itself to direct help for most people. I mean, for most of us, helping requires being passive and isolated, and that just gives me, personally, a bad case of jitters.

And that kind of frustration leads to anger and a lack of focus. you need to calm yourself down a bit, and remember, so long as you follow the current precautions, you ARE helping protect people.

If you need to do more to feel validated, consider, rather than coming up with an idea on your own, brainstorm with co-workers to find ways to help each other, and outside people, deal with the isolation stress.

And make certain to practice some self-care.

Also, your English is kinda awesome.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
638
Location
USA
Hi WST, I think what you are doing is very valuable and you help a lot of people. Your English is also excellent so don't sell yourself short.

I had a couple of career changes early on but I think I wound up right where I should be. I started down the road of being a counselor in college, but realized that it was not for me. In grad school I wanted to be a CSI and studied for that. All the while my dad wanted me to follow him into aviation so I finally did. So, a radical career shift is possible.

I think, if you can't find value in what you are doing and are determined to change, you can do anything you set your mind to as it seems like you are highly educated and motivated. Stay strong and be well.
 
W

Wan Shi Tong

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Mexico
I think a big part of how you are feeling frustration, something people with BPD don't deal well with. Your empathy drives you to want to help, and the covid crisis doesn't lend itself to direct help for most people. I mean, for most of us, helping requires being passive and isolated, and that just gives me, personally, a bad case of jitters.

And that kind of frustration leads to anger and a lack of focus. you need to calm yourself down a bit, and remember, so long as you follow the current precautions, you ARE helping protect people.

If you need to do more to feel validated, consider, rather than coming up with an idea on your own, brainstorm with co-workers to find ways to help each other, and outside people, deal with the isolation stress.

And make certain to practice some self-care.

Also, your English is kinda awesome.
Thank you so much for reading my post and for your answer. And that's exactly the feeling. Anger, which takes most of my time and focus. A few years ago a beloved teacher told me that we could use anger to actually do good things, it was just a matter of understanding it and focusing it into an effort to change what's bothering us.
As a BPD patient, I regularly find myself unable to control my emotions (especially anger), but I'm doing my best.
I've seen some improvement for the past few days. I am still questioning a lot of stuff, and I want to make some major changes in my life, but I will try my best to be as objective and fair as possible.
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read me. Please, be safe and stay strong.
 
W

Wan Shi Tong

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Mexico
Hi WST, I think what you are doing is very valuable and you help a lot of people. Your English is also excellent so don't sell yourself short.

I had a couple of career changes early on but I think I wound up right where I should be. I started down the road of being a counselor in college, but realized that it was not for me. In grad school I wanted to be a CSI and studied for that. All the while my dad wanted me to follow him into aviation so I finally did. So, a radical career shift is possible.

I think, if you can't find value in what you are doing and are determined to change, you can do anything you set your mind to as it seems like you are highly educated and motivated. Stay strong and be well.
Thank you so much! Your story is amazing and it's helping me a lot.
Given my experience as a criminal lawyer and human rights advisor, I have had a lot of contact with victims of violence and with groups in situations of discrimination. I understand how institutions constantly oppress them and now I want to help on a much more personal level. My dream for a couple of years has been to become a psychologist specialized in criminal psychology and victimology.
I have tried to study it in many ways (both in courses, as a master's degree or even as a second degree). But, for many reasons, I've not been able to do it. And that's frustrating as hell, because it seems that the more time passes, the less chances I get to do it. A couple of years ago I had to turn down a huge opportunity to study abroad precisely because I was lacking in resources.
I'm going to keep trying to achieve my goals. I also know that I need to discipline myself and get my emotions under control, to work in my favor and not against me.
Thank you so much for your advice. Be safe and stay strong.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
638
Location
USA
Thank you so much! Your story is amazing and it's helping me a lot.
Given my experience as a criminal lawyer and human rights advisor, I have had a lot of contact with victims of violence and with groups in situations of discrimination. I understand how institutions constantly oppress them and now I want to help on a much more personal level. My dream for a couple of years has been to become a psychologist specialized in criminal psychology and victimology.
I have tried to study it in many ways (both in courses, as a master's degree or even as a second degree). But, for many reasons, I've not been able to do it. And that's frustrating as hell, because it seems that the more time passes, the less chances I get to do it. A couple of years ago I had to turn down a huge opportunity to study abroad precisely because I was lacking in resources.
I'm going to keep trying to achieve my goals. I also know that I need to discipline myself and get my emotions under control, to work in my favor and not against me.
Thank you so much for your advice. Be safe and stay strong.
My pleasure! I'm glad you're finding benefit being here.

I think you already have a solid background for a shift into criminal psychology. It seems to be just a shift in focus from where you are now and I'm sure you already have a lot of experience with the mental health of criminal populations.

Would an online university be helpful. If I understand correctly, the pace of learning is at your pace. I have two masters, one in clinical psychology and one in criminal justice/forensic science and I had considered a career as a forensic science tech or in forensic psychology. If I can get the academic background for that, anyone can :dance:. Just from the posts you have here, I think that you would be good in that field.

In my program I had a lot of great opportunities to learn about forensic psychology and I was able to interview offenders and meet with profilers. I've taken seminars by Robert Ressler and Jim Clemente about preferential sex offenders. Oddly, after all of that education and training, I fly for a living and have nothing to do with the mental health field any longer.

Keep at it and don't give up on your dream! Are you doing anything or engaged in any therapy for emotional control?
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
1,164
For some reason that's making me really anxious. Not only because of my family, but also because I need to feel that I am doing something for others.

I wasn't allowed to choose my career path, it was more of a circumstancial matter. And I don't have what it takes to become a physician (I have a huge phobia to needles that almost incapacitates me when I see one). I knew, from the moment I was meant to choose something to make a living, that I couldn't be a medical professional. But I'm also aware that I don't want to be lawyer. I like what I do, but it's not transcendental, it's not of any value. In the grand order of things, I'm just contributing to some really little effort to change things, and this tiny effort is not going to make any kind of impact at all. I'm not doing what I convinced myself I would be doing by this time in my life with my career, and that's making me feel like a failure.
I almost had a huge rage outburst a few days ago, when I tried to volunteer for some public effort and I wasn't allowed because of my professional background. And I wasn't angry at the people who told me that I couldn't volunteer for that specific task (it was for my safety). I was angry at myself for feeling so useless.

I know that my attitude might seem really childish, but I can't help it. And that feeling is really adding up to others that make me question my purpose in life. I am not happy with my relationship, I am not happy with my self-image and I am not happy with my career/job. And that's destroying me.

I've been having a lot of bouts of depression and that's causing me troubles with many other things. My emotions are out of control and I can't control my rage. A few months ago I really hurt myself, and I hurt myself again yesterday. I don't know what to think or what to do...
Sorry for my terrible English and for this post, I just needed to get it out. Everyone be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones. Sending you all the good vibes I can, wherever you are.
There are a number of things at play here.

Firstly, you say your career choice was circumstantial - it was not something you could control; it was beyond your control. It is likely there have been a number of experiences in your life that you felt you could not control, and ironically enough, here you are again, with anxiety you cannot control with regards to the current covid situation, with frustrations you cannot control. I believe so much of wisdom and growth is coming to terms with the things we cannot control, taking them on board as parts, pieces, angles to our selves, and to our own lives as a whole. One single moment, one single choice, does not define us. We can adapt, and change, both our way of thinking, and the decisions we make, over the whole expanse of our lives. Things are more flexible than the way you can see currently.

Borderline can really trap us into thinking there is only one reality - one of suffering, the one where things are all wrong, the one where we yearn for something different.
It takes a lot of work to TRAIN ourselves into seeing, that in reality, things are more malleable than that, and we can actually be flexible, and craft our lives as we go: that actually, in the end we can have more control than we think, if we believe in it, and that empowers us. That sense of thinking 'I have control over my own destiny' actually raises our self esteem.

I get that right now you feel pigeon holed into a corner, but think of it like this. Even though it feels like this Covid threat is never-ending, it will end. And chances are, you are going to live through it. And when you live through it, you have the power to re-direct yourself on whatever path you wish, if you are truly determined to.

However, I believe that all this stuff you wrote is really really vital:
And that feeling is really adding up to others that make me question my purpose in life. I am not happy with my relationship, I am not happy with my self-image and I am not happy with my career/job. And that's destroying me.

Well, as you can see, as is always the case with the so called "borderline", these ideas are very far-reaching: there is a lot of turmoil, and it is not just limited to your job. For that reason, do not focus on your job, but on healing. The main problem you are having may seem to start with your job, and it may be the trigger for all these other things, but actually I believe the problem that you have with your job is just a surface problem in the midst of all this (why do I believe this? Personal experience, as someone who struggles with direction, has changed directions etc, and found still the same problems occur, even after changing to what I thought would help).

As I say, if you want to change your job, if you want to change your relationship, you can change all these things, in time. All in good time. But as a fellow borderline sufferer, I will tell you, these things aren't going to change like magic. Borderline symptoms mean a fight for survival. Managing your symptoms. Focusing on you. You may feel useless to help others but what about helping yourself? You are just as much a person in need as those people at risk or suffering with the illness. One of the main parts of self esteem is realising your INHERENT VALUE as a human being, not just your value because you have done something for someone else, your value because you have a certain job, your value because someone gives you a compliment, your value because someone makes you feel attractive, but NO, just your inherent value as a human being. As a borderline sufferer this is something extremely difficult to take on board, but it is worth it to bear it in your mind as a human being. I remember someone first saying to me 'what about your value as a human being?' when I was 18, and my mind was blown. I was there thinking, what value as a human being? I genuinely never even thought of the idea of having inherent value as a human being before then, it was a strange concept to me, only now ten years later am I slowly slowly slowly starting to see what that might possibly look like.

Borderline is a fight for survival, it means you want to FIGHT this with all your might. And it means accepting the days where you have bad thoughts about wanting to die and harm yourself. It means saying, that's okay, I had a shit time this morning, but what can I do today to say I have achieved at least something of value to me today? It could be a small thing, like just showering or taking good care of yourself, it could be posting on here to help someone else out who is in need or suffering, it could be the smallest of things.

On that point, don't undermine the value of the work you do and have done in law. Like ants we all contribute to something larger. I have a very very low grade job, but the fact I am doing it, and the way that I treat others, means that I am having a small ripple positive effect over all on the community. Sometimes you just smile at someone and that person goes on to smile at ten other people, and then those people go on to smile at ten other people. It may seem like NOT ENOUGH for you, but if you deeply want to make an impact, you can. You can find another volunteering opportunity, possibly offer to deliver medicines and food to those who cannot leave their houses... and if you can't do something for those people, do it for you.

Remember in the end, if you don't look after yourself, the borderlines who are the most selfish of all are those who don't look after themselves. Because others see them so consumed, so wrapped up in their own suffering, that they cannot look to help others at all.

I think you need to do some telephone therapy at this point.
Also, you need to be looking up youtube videos that relate to healing, what are the issues you are having? Self-image? Career direction? I am sure someone out there is speaking passionately and wisely about this stuff on the internet. There is a hell of a lot on the internet that can be helpful to you.
You need to actively be looking for small things that can help you become calmer over all, whatever that thing is.
You need to be looking for ways to heal.
Because all this is not just limited to your job; it goes way deeper.

And thus she finished her novel. Hahaha.
But honestly, I am truly sorry you are feeling like this and I hope at least, some of what I have written resonates with you. I am going through my own struggles and my own journey, and accepting the bad moments is just as important as truly celebrating the good ones.

All the best to you. I believe in you. You got this.
 
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