It isn’t BPD if there was trauma there too. (TW- certain things described in the link may be triggering)

On Being Invisible in the Mental Health System

This article explains, better than I ever could, about why so many people who endure child sexual abuse (or adult) and then get labelled obstructive, bitter, attention-seeking or violent as a result. I am so pleased it’s not just me that thinks this attitude is wrong. All the other diagnoses this woman received damaged her too, but my theory on the BPD diagnosis being slapped on traumatised people just blames them seems to be supported here.

Please, seek a different diagnosis if there was trauma in your past and you have been labelled with something that doesn’t fit. PTSD is probably what it is- a healable brain injury which was NOT your fault. NO abuse is ever your fault.

Struggling through these dark times but dealing with it better now that I’m resting. So much support through various people commenting and liking my posts, and following me, not to mention all the love I’m receiving from my friends. Keep fighting all, I’m trying my best. I’ll try and post again with what’s been happening as soon as I can.

Admitted Part Nine- more journal.

I did carry on. Here is what I wrote.

 

25th April, 11:13.

Just did the psychology group- I feel fucking vindicated. People who have been cruelly abused are being given the diagnosis of BPD/EUPD.

Why is this archaic, victim-blaming, wooly-criteria-ed diagnosis STILL being given out to vulnerable people?! For Christ’s sake, do the psychs not see they are taking the place of the abuser and making everything OUR fault again?

“Because your personality is disordered, you were abused. Nothing will change you. You will always be in the ‘crazy pile’, you will always have unsuitable relationships. Really, you’re a fuck-up, but we don’t have enough actual solid criteria to fully diagnose this supposedly rare condition, but that doesn’t mean we won’t slap it on you and shove you full of drugs. Now take your fucking pill and shut up.”

That, right there, is abuse. This diagnosis should be put an end to, and realised for what it REALLY is- PTSD. If you were abused, dear Lord, it was NOT YOUR FAULT!

Why is that so hard to understand?!

The voices are a bit quieter right now. Fingers crossed they stay that way.

My Life as a Rape Joke

Huh, seems I am not the only one who was blamed by a psychiatrist for being raped. Apparently, telling rape victims it was their fault because their ‘personality disorder’ made them get raped is good practice now.
Psychiatrists should be ashamed that BPD is even a diagnosis. It’s revolting. What we all suffer is RTS/PTSD, or I was never with my ex boyfriend for six years of hell. Time to get rid of the misogynistic, archaic and untrue BPD label.

The Life and Works of Olive Seraphim

The rape joke is that
It happened the first time when i was five
and my mother said “never let this happen again!”

The rape joke is that
it happened again, another boy this time, at 14
in tears i told my mother again and she asked
“do you want me to talk to his dad?” and i’d hoped
she would ask
do i want to go to the police.
the rape joke is that i would’ve said no
but just wanted her to ask.

The rape joke is that I grew up hearing
“why do women let themselves be abused?”
and every time I thought “I would let a man
hurt me over and over again
just to hear ‘i love you’ at the end.”

The rape joke is that the universe heard me
and that’s exactly what I received. 
I was sixteen the first time. I said ‘stop’…

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Surprised by life.

Last night, I was invited out by a friend I grew up with, RB. She used to live directly down the street from me, and we shared a lot of fun times as we grew.

Recently, as some of you know, I lost a friend over insesnitive rape joke comments, which is detailed in another of my blog posts further back. I got a message from my childhood friend, RB, saying thank you for posting that status about how rape jokes are not funny, it means a lot to me.

When I asked why, she said she had been raped too and it was amazing for someone to stand up for her, even if indirectly.

That hurt. Now both me AND my friend are part of the one in four. It hurt because she didn’t feel like anyone stood up for her. It hurt because I remember her as a happy-go-lucky six year old. It hurt because she is my friend.

I went out last night and all she wanted to talk about was what had happened to her. She led me away from the people we had come with and we spent ages talking about it.

I hurt for her so much. It seems RB has tried to tell others, but they called her out on it. They told her it was “just bad sex,” or that she was lying. She has even been told to “grow a pair and get over it,” despite the fact that when it happened she was screaming and crying, and it has left it’s sorry mark. She called herself pathetic because of how she still reacts- you know, the hypervigilance, nightmares, flashbacks… She was choked up at one point trying to describe the reactions of others to what she tried to tell them: the truth.

I felt like suddenly, the old world of securities was crumbling like old plaster around us. I realised even more that writing this blog is important, because there are more rape victims out there who feel ‘pathetic’ because of what they had to endure. I realised that so many misdiagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder are out there because not enough psychiatrists actually understand that PTSD/RTS are caused by being exposed to the horror of rape. It was a weirdly empowering thing to realise that my voice here is doing some good, no matter how smalll.

What RB said next nearly made me cry.

She told me I had been her rock whilst she was at her worst about the rape, without me even knowing. She said that I had been there for her in a way nobody else had, despite the fact that we didn’t talk much. She also said that having somebody to talk to like this was just so good- it made her feel less isolated.

I had an honest-to-god lump in my throat, and tears pricking the corners of my eyes.

Even at my lowest, my most worthless, I was helping someone and I didn’t even know it. I was of value when I felt like dying would solve everyone’s problems over me. There had been value in my life when the dark passenger was threatening to send me down the void forever.

I am still shaken by it. I wish that I had recorded what she said, so I could play it back to myself whenever I feel like I can’t go on.

Sometimes, life actually surprises me still.

BPD/EUPD, Depression, trust and raw skin.

I had a conversation with my lovely friend Y last night. She was worried about her BPD diagnosis, and she said to me that she fits the criteria and that she didn’t understand why I am so against the diagnosis of BPD/EUPD.

Because I love her, and I want her (and you all) to understand, I am going to try and explain further.

-I have a problem with one of the descriptive words of BPD/EUPD – the PERSONALITY part. I don’t believe for a second that life experiences can alter your personality, or that anyone is born with a flawed personality, like the diagnosis seems to suggest. It essentially says to women, “Hey, guess what, because your personality is disordered, you are to blame for every bad thing that has happened to you,”. That isn’t unlike a certain psychopathic ex boyfriend I once had- he told me the same thing a lot. I think it is cruel for a psychiatrist to tell someone that, because they psych in question is now taking the part of my abusive ex and telling you you are to blame. In reality, you are not. BAD PEOPLE did this to you. They have hurt you and damaged you- BUT they have NOT damaged your personality, just your REACTIONS to other people and to the way they behave.

Let me explain the difference between PERSONALITY and REACTIONS. Your personality is, to me at least, what makes you YOU. It is responsible for whether you like the colour green or blue best. It is responsible for that wrench in your stomach when you have to see a friend in pain. It dictates what music you enjoy, what art pleases you best, how outgoing or shy or funny you are. It is, I think, a constant. Personally speaking, I have been told I’m warm, funny and friendly by people I know and people I have only just met. I love the colours red, black and silver. Sunsets are my favourite time of the day. I love really cold autumn mornings. I like laughing at twists of words and stupid animals. I enjoy sitting with good friends, maybe not saying anything, but just chilling and watching a film or something. That, to me, is WHO I AM. My PERSONALITY.

It is SO MUCH MORE than your reactions.

REACTIONS are how you are trained by your life to react to things that happen to you. For example, I had an abusive ex-boyfriend. He raped me. He called me worthless. He made me feel about a centimetre tall. So, when someone speaks or acts in the same way as he did, I become wary, hyper-vigilant, frightened and angry. Angry because he still has the power to affect me this way.

So imagine that as a small child, I was often ill, and I wasn’t able to join in with making friends and having fun with other children. Imagine I was homeschooled maybe, trapped in the house without the companionship of other children. Perhaps I just happened to live a life where my parents were so busy working that I barely ever saw them, and as a result had a stream of nannies. Wouldn’t that make you ‘frantically avoid abandonment, whether real or imagined’, in your everyday relationships as an adult? That is A REACTION to your past. It is because you never learned to trust, and you were so betrayed by the people who were supposed to teach you that. If you were sick, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. How could you expect to learn to trust when you were trapped indoors? Now you have grown up, how can you be expected to trust anyone? You were never sure of it as a child.

The good news about that side of things, I think is that REACTIONS are LEARNED BEHAVIOUR. We learned, as small children, that trust didn’t exist, so we learned to rely on ourselves. That small child inside still wants to trust. He or She is aching for a simple trust-based relationship, and He or She can still have that. You learned not to trust, so you can unlearn that.

I think another problem here is that now, you have been hurt so many times, you feel like a creature without skin- a little stripped rabbit, bloodied and naked and frightened. You feel desperate and snappy because it HURTS so much to trust. I think that also, people are born like this- not snappy and frightened, but with the ability to FEEL emotion really intensely. I know I feel love, hate, fear, joy, nervousness etc much much more strongly than a lot of my friends. I get worried about things they don’t, because they grew their fur more thickly than I did. They don’t contend with the same damage as I do because they are not exposed to emotion with naked raw skin.

The next part of this is this: how do you learn to trust again with such a hurtful past and such raw skin?

It isn’t easy, I assure you, but I will try and find out more to add to my own insights.

I have decided that I over-think my relationships. I try too hard to second guess because I want to please the other person so badly. This is probably true for other people diagnosed with EUPD/BPD. My current line of thought on the matter is this: DON’T! Give yourself a break. Other people are probably not thinking about what you just said in the same way that you are. They are probably not even concerned with it! Take a step back, mentally, and take some deep breaths. Tell yourself that other people actually like you. Let yourself just accept the comment or conversation for what it is, and try not to shred it apart looking for the hint that the other person is using you or is going to hurt you. Most people in the world are good, and want to form a relationship with you based on trust. If they get it a little wrong sometimes, it is because they are human, like you. If they are worth trusting, they will see that too, and they will most likely let you know when they have slipped up. The healing part of learning that someone is worth trusting is so fantastic- it’s how I have re-built my relationship with my parents when the ex tried to destroy it. I won, and I trusted. It isn’t easy, and I still have issues, but you can do it too.

Start small. Tell a person you want to trust a small, true thing about you. See if they react well. They probably will. Try again, maybe when you feel ready, with something a little bigger. Build it up that way.

Another thing to bear in mind is the way you have been CONDITIONED to react, whether it was by someone abusive or by a lonely past. You are most likely going to try and cling on to affection in any form, regardless of whether it hurts you. That isn’t trust, nor is it affection. It is damaging you all over again. Something I have done is sit myself down and taken a long, hard look at how it would feel to be abandoned by various people I love in my life. I have gone through in my head the pain that this would involve, and then I have taken myself back out of that dark place, and I have thought of several reasons that this would never happen.

-The people I am close to love me for me. They don’t care about my flaws. They will be there until the end of time. I would literally have to kill puppies to get them to hate me, and I bet even then a couple would stick around and ask me why I did it. This is true for other people too. Trust me. Ask them.

-If, for some reason, someone I am close to abandons me, I have to think about it rationally. Why would they abandon me? It is NOT because I am the most wicked and horrible person around. Maybe they have their own problems to deal with, and they are being selfish. Maybe they have trust issues of their own. Most importantly, though, do you really want to cling onto someone who WOULD just drop you and leave you alone? Where is the trust there? They are not worth it if they didn’t trust you enough to hold onto you. You, and your loves and hates and sense of humour. Your appreciations, your film choices, your hairstyle. Why drop this unique person and wander off? It’s callous, and it doesn’t deserve a second of your time.

 

These are jumbled thoughts, but I hope they help you, Y, and anyone else given this stupid diagnosis. I do not believe for an instant your personality is flawed. I believe your reactions to the outside world are damaged, but that this damage can be repaired by giving yourself a chance to trust.

I’m right here if you want to ask me more. Hopefully I explained myself clearly.

Manipulative? Ugh, please, YOU are the manipulative one, Mr Shrink.

I’m once again researching BPD/EUPD and I am once again filled with disgust about it. It is nothing but an ugly sham.

The website I gleaned the link below from purports to be ‘helpful’ to BPD/EUPD sufferers, and the link is supposed to be to get people to ‘think twice’ about calling someone with BPD/EUPD ‘manipulative’ or ‘demanding’. Unfortunately, it’s worded in such a way that it just reinforces these preconceptions.

Take, for instance, this:

Manipulative

Dictionary definition: “To manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner: to manipulate people’s feelings”

This is a very harsh comment to make about someone that is using the best skills they have available. Try to imagine what someone with a personality disorder has gone through, and then think about what extremes you would go to protect yourself. Isn’t it true that life is a fight for survival or would it be seen that way through the eyes of someone with a personality disorder?

Now hold it right there, folks. This is cleverly written. I think I was taken in at first glance- I thought that there was another medical professional out there willing to think. Now I’ve re-read it, that isn’t the case. The words ‘the best skills they have available’ makes out that a BPD/EUPD sufferer is literally incapable of normal interaction at all. Moreover, it’s still saying in a roundabout way that sufferers are actually manipulative. Apparently it’s because ‘we are lacking in skills to function normally’.

I call bullshit on that one.

I have said many times I don’t believe it should be recognised as a disorder, but to actually go as far as to say that one of the ‘symptoms’ of this ‘personality disorder’ is manipulation actually blows my mind. To say that if you have suffered so badly from abuse, the only tool left to you is manipulation is utterly demeaning.

I was raped. I was emotionally and sexually abused. I was laughed at, humiliated publicly, and, to cap it all off, I was manipulated.

Now I’m intimate with the horrors of emotional blackmail, so you would think I might be the least bit capable of recognising it in myself. Guess what, shrink- manipulation is a zero here. I have asked countless friends and family members to tell me if I am, and they have said no, not at all. I haven’t seen its ugly claws in me, and I know I would lose so many friends if I really was manipulative. Bullshit.

So I will keep demanding that this archaic, misogynistic diagnosis is ended. It seems to me the epitome of manipulation for a shrink to convince everyone who knows you that you are a horrible bitch who brought this on yourself for having a “disordered personality”. Isn’t that true manipulation?

It feels to me how I used to feel with the ex- like no-one would believe me, like I was a crazy bitch, a drama queen, and I needed to keep my mouth shut.

All you other BPD/EUPD girls out there, I believe you. You are not this label, and you are not manipulative. This label should not have been given to you, and it should not exist.

Come join me in defiance. It’s a really good feeling.

(PS: Sista, I’m talking to you too. I believe you have PTSD, like me. We’re in this together. x)

Time to shake things up.

I went to my hearing voices group yesterday. One of the topics of conversation that came up was “does schizophrenia exist,” i.e. Should it exist as a diagnosis or not?

It was an intense debate. Several of the members of our group have it as their diagnosis and all have very conflicting beliefs on it. One person is convinced it is a medical label for the disease they suffer. Another says that it is partly the illness, and partly down to other spiritual entities that they hear voices. Yet another believes that they are hearing the spirits of the dead.

I decided I would put my half-penneth’s worth in. I told the group I believed that there is a line I draw in the sand depending on the feelings I experience between seeing ghosts and hallucinations. My ghosts are always calm and non-threatening, whereas the hallucinations terrify me. They have an element of personal threat, and I feel physically vulnerable and often frightened for my own life. I said I felt like by drawing this line, I am able to differentiate a hallucenogenic experience and a supernatural one, and it’s therefore easier to tell when I’m ill.

The group received this well, I think. It made room for everyone’s beliefs and also I hope it will help them draw their own lines in the sand.

Anyway, I was struck by the bold statement of “schizophrenia does not exist.” It made me think. If people diagnosed with the condition are reluctant to believe the veracity of their diagnosis, then what does this say about psychiatry? Moreover, what does this say about BPD/EUPD?

My feelings on the subject are pretty clear- I believe that a lot of women are thrown into the “crazy place” when they are given this diagnosis, simply for not fitting one simple diagnosis/ pissing off their therapist/ being a woman with bad life experiences. We are effectively told that we were to blame for every single last bit of the horrific trauma we suffered, for all the horrible people who hurt us, and for not being a more stable person. I believe that EUPD/BPD should be changed from a personality disorder, and reclassified as a part of PTSD- face it guys, I was abused by my ex and that has caused my problems, NOT the other way round. I think the whole damaging label should be discredited as hogswill- seriously, people used to be burned at the stake for hearing voices, so why persist with this chauvinistic and medieval label?

I went to see one of the psychiatric nurses who help run the group at the end and I told her of my grievances. Brilliantly, she agreed completely with me. She thinks that I’m right, and she is working in the system!! I was so pleased to talk to her on the subject and hear that another person in the mental health profession thinks that this diagnosis is wrong for so many women. She agreed with me that there isn’t enough research done, that the real questions are not answered (such as why in the hell are we not addressing the people causing the abuse? Why are psychiatrists blaming the victim for her problems?) and that she also believes it is a form of PTSD.

Good. That pleases me.

I think it is about time we people diagnosed with this archaic and demeaning “disorder” spoke out. I think it is time for us to stand together, demand PROPER help, and demand to be listened to. We know the insides of our own heads better than anyone, and we know that being listened to, as a normal human being, really helps us.

I think I am going to be raising awareness of this fallacy, and I won’t stop until I have made some serious noise. The medical profession HAS to start seeing things our way.

(Also, in a completely weird side note, when I went to the doctor recently, I discovered that the psychiatrist wrote “diagnosis unknown” down, despite telling me I had EUPD. What the hell!? Yet another instance of tell your patient one thing and write down another. Lack of bloody transparency. )

I’m here with you, people. Let’s get this started. Time to shake things up.