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Haven for the living Princess and the Pea

Year 9

It is 3am and the darkness is a blank canvas on which my mind paints a person and place from my past. Continue reading “Year 9”

Riding the BPD rollercoaster

People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have been described as the emotional equivalent of a third degree burn victim. We have no skin which means every little thing that goes wrong is excruciating. When I started DBT, we were taught that BPD sufferers have a lower baseline mood than other people. This, I believe, is from a lifetime of trauma, chipping away at us like water wears away rock. As Trading Yesterday sings, “A million miles have led me to this place, Where all I’ve ever loved has been erased, Changing my song to a disenchanted lullaby”. BPD is depression, and more. We are already barely hanging on, so any setback easily tips us into crisis. Continue reading “Riding the BPD rollercoaster”

This is what it’s like to have OCD

There are many different shades of OCD. Being a neat freak is only one variety of OCD. OCD is a continuum that stretches between the extremes of spotlessness to hoarding so severe there is no space to walk. Then there are other types of OCD, such as getting distressing, intrusive thoughts to drive off the road or to hurt someone. Some people keep checking that they’ve turned the stove off or they’ve locked the door. And I met one person today who must line up her M&Ms according to colour in the order that those coloured electrical wires are plugged into the fuse box.  She also told me she has to count how many of each type of chocolate there are in the Cadbury Favourites box. She must then eat the ones that are more abundant first to level the numbers. Continue reading “This is what it’s like to have OCD”

Latest Internal Family Systems work

There is a part of me that, for a while, I’ve wanted to change. It is a part which I’m sure frustrates those who want to be closer to me too. It is how I, generally, don’t get attached to people. I will go weeks, months, or years without talking to friends and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t miss people. And displays of affection such as hugs usually feel empty and emotionless for me. These are some of the most private things I will admit to; I’m scared people will think I’m heartless. In Internal Family Systems, this part of me is called a “manager”. Managers are one of two parts (the other being “Firefighers”) who protect us from being overwhelmed by “Exiles”, those parts of us that carry our deepest wounds. Melissa Sandfort has written a wonderful description of Internal Family Systems on her website here. Melissa describes “managers” as parts that “try to control your relationships and environment so you’re never in a position of being hurt. They avoid emotion, and try to control everything… Very extreme managers may turn people into robots who never seem to feel anything or connect to anyone.” Continue reading “Latest Internal Family Systems work”

Dopamine Blues

I am a bucket with a hole in its base. Nothing I put in will last. I turn to online dating in need of elevating but meaningful connection is scarce.

Continue reading “Dopamine Blues”

Taking back my power

I didn’t realise how far I’ve come in my journey of self-growth until now. I used to put up with people pushing me around and not respecting my boundaries. I can now set boundaries, and I set a hard one today. Today I wrote the following message to a person who has not been treating me right:

Continue reading “Taking back my power”

My gender identity

The other day I received some stickers from an animal rights organisation called SPANA. They contain my name and address and are to be used on the back of envelopes. I’m not sure how SPANA got my details, but I am over the moon because they have used the gender-neutral title “Mx” on the sticker. I would really like more people to address me using gender neutral titles and pronouns. I’d like to be seen as a person first, not put into a box and all the expectations that come with that. I find gender to be an oppressive construct, especially the different rules for men and women (e.g. women should shave but men don’t have to). I’m not throwing away womanhood altogether, but I only partially identify as a girl. I am going by both “she” and “they” pronouns at the moment. I have even discovered a word for how I feel, and that is “demigirl”. People are going to call me a “young lady” etc. as I don’t look “in the middle”, and I’m not going to give up what I like just so I look more “in the middle”. But for those who know me, it would make my heart sing if you could refer to me in a gender-neutral way for a change.

 

Wounded

The CPTSD Foundation posted a great article the other day, “The Problem Isn’t Your Motivation, It’s Your Wound” by Alison Wegner. Here is the beginning segment:

“A woman in her mid-forties walks into a therapist’s office with a broken leg. She is at her wits’ end. Sitting down in the therapist’s chair, she says, “I’m so frustrated. I’ve been trying to run a marathon for years, but I just can’t do it. There must be something wrong with me. I try to get out of bed to train, but I just don’t want to. Even when I force myself, I can’t go nearly as far as everyone else. It is like I’m somehow deficient. After practicing, I am in so much agony that I have to take pain killers. Other people can run without resorting to pain killers. I just don’t understand what is wrong with me.”

What is the first thing you would say to this person? “The problem is your broken leg.”

I use this as a metaphor for those with trauma. Such individuals often try to ‘willpower’ their way past severe and debilitating wounds- wounds that are present and yet invisible.”

Continue reading “Wounded”

Every Day Is Exactly The Same

I’m going to start posting a few song interpretations on here, starting with “Every Day Is Exactly The Same” by Nine Inch Nails. Continue reading “Every Day Is Exactly The Same”

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