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”
Image from “Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia” by Rob Breesny
As Mike Lloyd explains in his video “Introduction to Structural Dissociation”, when we apply stress to a solid object, it is likely to fracture and split off into various components. A similar thing happens to people. My current therapist introduced me to the idea that I am a system of different parts or subpersonalities. These parts can be categorised into “exiles” (young parts that carry trauma), “managers”, and “firefighters” (parts that react when exiles are activated, turning to drastic things like drug and alcohol use, self-harm, binge-eating, sex binges, and other addictions). This model of therapy is called Internal Family Systems. A similar model, called “Structural Dissociation”, categorises the parts into two categories: the “Going on with Normal Life” part and the emotional, “Traumatised Child” part. We all have different parts of ourselves, but the greater the degree of stress a person has experienced (and the presence of certain factors listed here), the more fragmentation there is. Dissociative Identity Disorder is the most extreme case of this where the parts act independently from each other (separated by amnesia) and are incredibly nuanced. Continue reading “Parts”
It was Day 1 of my menstrual cycle from hell, and after months of things being better, the pain has returned and returned with a vengeance. It was early evening on Wed and I was at a park when I started bleeding. I headed home, took some Panadeine Forte, made a hot water bottle and curled up in bed. The pain subsided and so did my emotional pain too. I felt better than I have ever felt before. I felt calm and my depression lifted. For once in my life I felt normal. I wondered how long this pain-free existence would last. Not long at all, unfortunately. Little did I know it was the calm before the storm. Mum went to bed and that is when I started feeling faint when standing. I lay down on the couch for a while and almost fell asleep. I then got up, did my teeth and went to bed. I still felt faint. Shortly the pain came back as well but in a different part of my body. I couldn’t figure out where it was, whether it was in my stomach, in my side, in my chest or in my heart. I have never felt this kind of pain before. It was sharp and constant. I couldn’t get to sleep and it seemed to be getting worse. I could barely move. I got up and woke my mum up. I sat hunched over on the floor beside her bed and told her there is something really wrong with me. She called the nurse-on-call number. We just got automated messages for ten minutes until someone finally picked up. After describing the pain to the nurse she told us to go to the emergency department. I waited for Mum to get ready. I was getting annoyed at how long she was taking. I sat on the floor by the door moaning and vomiting into a bucket. Finally she was ready. I staggered into the back seat and lay there while she drove me to the hospital down the road. It took us a while to find the emergency department as it wasn’t clearly sign posted. Finally we found it. The pain was so bad I could barely make it to the door. I vomited again. We entered through the glass doors and once I was finally inside I collapsed. I lay withering on the floor hugging a pillow from the car. The person at the desk told me I had to sit on a seat as the floor was not clean. I couldn’t believe that while I lay there dying all they cared about was a bit of dirt. I couldn’t sit up so I sat at the desk with my head on the desk. There were a few other people in the waiting room. I knew it was going to be a long haul, and I didn’t know if I’d make it. My mum eventually left and I continued waiting. They said they needed to do some blood tests so I staggered into a back room and lay on the bed. I was angry that my mum hadn’t packed a tshirt and all I had was my stupid black pyjama singlet which is too big and doesn’t cover my boobs. The nurse kept prodding my arms looking for a vein but couldn’t find one. She stuck the needle in and continued moving it about. I have never had so much trouble with a blood test before. It was truly the worst blood test I’ve ever had. I broke down crying and she eventually gave up. She then got a man to come in and try. He couldn’t find a vein either. He stuck the needle in and out of my other arm. It was the most painful blood test I’ve ever had and I cried and cried. Eventually he got some blood out of me but commented afterwards that it had “burst”. I kept asking what that meant but no one would tell me. He stuck a bandaid over the point and left. My arm started turning deep purple. I was shuffled back to the waiting room. Hours passed and no body came for me. I could have died from a heartattack right there in that miserable room for all they cared. My condition could have been lethal, they didn’t know. The TV was on and it was “vaccine” this “vaccine” that, as if we haven’t heard enough about the fucking vaccines. The air conditioner was roaring and the sound was consuming my every cell and bone. I asked the receptionist if I could sit in the back room. She said she’d ask one of the other staff members but no one was around. I was getting more and more agitated. My physical pain started to be replaced with mental pain. Finally I broke. I started screaming and sobbing. Everything I felt inside was finally coming out. I have dreams where this happens but rarely does it happen in real life. It all felt like a dream. Suddenly a bunch of nurses appeared around me. I couldn’t see any of them though as I had no vision, and I could barely catch what they were saying to me either. “What’s your name?” pounded one of the nurses. I couldn’t answer her. “Hello????” She continued. I wished so much that my psychologist was there as she would have known exactly what was happening to me. I was like one of those little kids with autism completely losing it in a shopping centre. I was having a meltdown. Finally I screamed my name and I screamed that I was autistic. One of the kinder nurses led me to another room which was empty and said I could wait in there. I went to the far corner and lay down on the floor. She then invited me to lie on the couch instead. I got up and lay on the couch and she covered me with a hot white blanket, which I appreciated despite being boiling. There was a loud air conditioner in this room too but I must have been dissociating so badly by this point that I switched off from the noise. It didn’t get to me like it did in the other room. I spent the rest of the night lying in this room staring into space or with my eyes closed but not sleeping. Finally at about 6am a nurse came in and told me there was a bed. By this point my physical pain had passed on its own, but I still went hoping there was something they could do about my mental health. I cannot go on like this any more, it is clearly taking a toll on my body now.
“You were blessed by a different kind of inner view: it’s all magnified. The highs would make you fly, and the lows make you want to die.” Missy Higgins, “Nightminds”
In my experience, Borderline “episodes” don’t usually happen out of the blue. They are usually triggered by something, especially things like abandonment or rejection or loss. The episode that I am currently in was triggered by my therapist, who is my “favourite person”, blocking me on Facebook after I told her I’d found her profile. This flicked a switch in me and alas I began a rapid downward spiral that has lasted five days now. Five days might seem like a short time but it is way too long to be experiencing such acute pain. That is what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Everything is magnified. Love feels like flying. Sadness feels like drowning. Anger feels like murder. Losing someone feels like death. The emotional pain is often so intense we feel it physically. That is, if we can even feel our bodies at all. Sometimes it is so unbearable that we begin to separate from our body and the world around us. The world begins to feel like a dream, and our bodies feel transparent. Continue reading “What does a Borderline “episode” look like”