I called the mental health team office twice today. Once asking for my psychologist (not there). Once asking for whoever was on duty to call me (he rang). Essentially I’m no better off after those phone calls, except at least I can say I communicated honestly today.
Honesty is important to me. I do a lot of honest communication and interaction with people. People don’t always like to be on the receiving end of it if it’s unpalatable honesty. We like honest if it is complimentary. We don’t like honest if it is not palatable honesty.
Honesty is really hard to swallow sometimes. I prefer it though to inauthentic hiding. I would prefer to say direct to someone, ‘you are really bugging me-please jog on’, than smile without feeling I want to smile.
I am a very honest person. I don’t stew over things for long before the truth gets put out there. I would rather experience the social ups and downs of honest communication than the insincere status quo of holding my truth in.
I am incapable of white lies. To some people that is cold and cruel. To me, following my logic, it is far less cold and cruel to express how you really feel, than to manipulatively pretend you feel things that you really are not feeling. I think it is manipulative to present something false to someone. I think that is wrong. That violates my moral boundaries. I would much rather be in relationships with people that are sincere, even if that sincerity means that sometimes they tell me I have annoyed them or they feel let down by me-whatever. I don’t mind.
I don’t especially like negative feedback. Who on earth does? I am self-confessed sensitive. I’m not hidden sensitive. I’m not deluded sensitive. I’m a sensitive person who full well knows they’re sensitive.
‘How can you be sensitive, yet give out blunt honesty?’ people ask.
Isn’t it insensitive to hurt someone’s feelings by expressing your honest feelings? (in cases where your honest feelings are not that glowing about a person).
There is a school of logic that says it is. This school says sensitive people should never ever say anything that may cause trouble, provoke, irritate, hurt, offend or embarrass someone. Afterall, we are sensitive, so we must live our sensitive lives being thoroughly sensitive in our interactions with absolutely everyone all of the time regardless of whether we are dealing with a sensitive or lesser sensitive person.
Sensitive people have to be the most sensitive people on the planet. We must walk on egg shells constantly. We must never let our perfectionist selves down by being anything less than perfect model citizens of sensitiveness. (That is the bollocks societal consensus we have reached I think.)
Sensitive types have to show the world how to be sensitive by being utterly whole heartedly consistently fucking SENSITIVE all the fucking time to everyone regardless of whether they deserve our kind and thoughtful sensitivity. Right?
NO WAY can I be a model person all the time. No way should society expect someone who is emotionally sensitive to also be practically perfect in every way and never get pissed off, annoyed, bored with you, fed up, frustrated or like we want to give you a slap because you are pissing us off so much. Non sensitive people. You can live without our egg shell walking. Seriously. You totally can. Because you’re not sensitive! You don’t know what discomfort is! Seriously!
People with BPD LITERALLY feel emotion FAR more intensely than those without. Which is why your hurt is not comparable to our hurt.
We are not all equal in emotional rawness and sensitivity. People with BPD make up LITERALLY only one percent of humanity. One percent of the world’s population suffer with this bunch of shit miserable disorder.
I am not only the one in four. I am the one percent in 100 who HURTS THIS MUCH.
You seriously expect me to exercise the same emotional restraint levels as you do? when I feel INFINITELY MORE EMOTIONAL EVERY WAKING SECOND than you do?
Talk to the hand non-sensitives! Summer ain’t listenin’.
Ladies reading this, or blokes who know ladies….tell me the difference in how a lady is during the monthly joy that is PMS. When a lady has PMS she is ultra sensitised-yep? She is reactive. She is irritable. She may shout, scream, slam doors, glare, swear, cry, slump, withdraw socially, be more likely to argue….and why is this?….Because her hormone levels affect her brain’s biochemistry and her inner bodily physiology. You cannot tell a lady with PMS to chill or relax without making her want to do bad things to do….maybe even as bad as administering a Chinese burn :P We accept PMS makes me feel shit and we try and just get though it as best we can. But having BPD is like having PMS all month 365 days a year, (and then actual monthly PMS makes us even more sensitised.)
Pointing out to someone that has professionally diagnosed BPD that they are reactive and getting overly upset will make us want to give you Chinese burns…maybe even worse than that fate gulp
Feeling emotion on a neurobiological and physiological level that is off the scale compared to non BPD’ers and having brains which are structurally different with enlarged amgdalas and shrunken pre-frontal cortex’s puts us in the sensitive zone constantly. We therefore cannot always walk on eggshells with you. Sometimes we need to externalise all that is going on inside our brains with words and actions and behaviours. You can NOT keep all that emotion in all the time.
There are three broad types of BPD peeps-those who act OUT, those who act IN, and those who do more or less an even balance of the two. Those who act IN, bleed inwardly and quietly, and will sometimes self-harm for release in secret. If they are feeling crap you probably won’t know it, because they are accomplished at restraining themselves and hiding behind masks. Their emotionality is a private thing that eats them up slowly but they share very little of that agony. Those who act OUT are properly histrionic and fearless about expressing their feelings in LOUD VOICES with deliberate actions taken to relieve their distress. They may react with more hostility and outward aggression when provoked rather than self-harming in secret (though not everyone with BPD self-harms, I need to point that out). If an acting out BPD’er is having a bad day, everyone knows it, because everything is expressed, and this emotional expression often takes place in more immediately visible ways such as drunken behaviour, risky drug use, arguments and defiant power struggles.
I used to be more acting in…then I became more of an acting outer when my illness took hold. Quite frankly, being the quiet, self-contained restrained borderline drove me literally crazy. So I learned how to express myself with the mental health professionals in oh-not-so-subtle ways.
I lost it, and I didn’t care who I lost it with. I cursed mental health professionals, I told NHS staff they were shit at their jobs and in the wrong job, I told my dad once “you’re a narcissistic cunt” because he was, (and still is). I screamed in the psych ward “GET ME MY FUCKING DIAZAPAM. I NEED MY FUCKING DIAZAPAM NOW.” I threw things, kicked things, punched walls and told the whole world I WANT TO DIE, because I did. I did want to die. I saw no reason to hide it. The only person I hid that fact from was obviously my children.
I became an acting outer when I had my breakdown because if I didn’t externalise to that degree I would have imploded in on myself. These days I have moved out of that acting out zone where I felt completely unbalanced and express myself with less force and far more restraint. Back then when I was ill, if I had a flashback I’d cry loudly and scream to get the pain out of my lungs. I’d only let myself go like that when the kids were not around, but as long as the kids were not in the house, anything went. There was an act of defiance self-harm incident that took place in my kitchen which resulted in my CPN refusing to do home visits with me anymore. I don’t know looking back how I behaved like that, in that way. What can I say on all that now, looking back?
It was HELL. :(
Now I act IN a lot more. I keep my distress less visible. I write with more restraint. I don’t always tell people everything I feel, though I usually do, but in more subtle ways. I try and phrase my anger or hurt or disappointment in balanced reasonable ways. But with the 365 day PMS type effect of BPD illness, it’s hard going to not EVER lapse and fail to maintain that. Sometimes I do want to tell people exactly what I think of them. Sometimes I want to say to someone, ‘fuck you, get out of my face’ but I don’t use those words so the art of friendly small talk and british politeness is preserved.
Today when the mental health nurse I rang I had a polite and civil conversation about my suicidal ideation and self-harm urges and how I jolly well wasn’t going to act on them, and how I wanted to resolve my medication situation with my psychiatrist. I then proceeded to give him a balanced account of my medication history, remained calm, didn’t cry till the very end of the phone- call and didn’t act out my distress one bit. I was the good BPD patient, when at times I have been ‘the bad one’. I always feel good when I’ve been able to keep calm in a situation. That makes me feel more controlled and masterful of my emotional state.
I do try and deal with things in ways that are honest and authentic but calm, and usually I succeed.
Sometimes people do piss me off.
Sometimes I want to administer blood-circulation-cutting-off-Chinese-burns.
But I don’t do that ;) [much] :P
I am s.e.n.s.i.t.i.v.e. yep.
I am imperfect. yep.
But I know my strengths and talents and values and no-one can take those away from me.
Honesty is a value I live by that will never be interrupted by anything or anyone, and that includes me telling you, with no apologies ‘today, so sorry, but I am upset with you’.