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Unpacking

August 22nd, 2017

I don’t handle confrontation well. Or communicating my wants/needs/emotions. This is not a secret.

I talk very logically about good communication in BDSM relationships all the time, but when it comes down to applying that in my own life, I often come up wanting.

It’s partly how I was raised. Growing up, my mother would try to get me to talk it out, but when she didn’t have the answers I was looking for, I’d get frustrated and shut down. My father’s response to any negative emotion was “walk it off.”

“Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve, Rayne,” he’d say. “You’re giving everyone all they need to mess with you.”

And I took it to heart and started doing my best to keep everything bottled inside.

I was already a good candidate for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Add in the stilted emotional development, and I was a shoe-in.

The Mayo Clinic lists these symptoms:
*Requires a medical diagnosis*

  • An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights

I definitely identify with all of that.

I’ve always hoped I’d find some magic bullet cure. Something easy, and unobtrusive. Meditation, or an art form, or…something. So far, nothing works for any extended period of time. Not even medication. And the last doctor I tried to talk to about it stopped listening when I told her that I am a recovering addict, and started blaming the drug use. I’ve been showing symptoms of BPD since I was four years old, so unless someone was drugging me when I was a child (which I highly doubt because my parents were very anti-drug unless absolutely necessary), she’s wrong.

I’m tired of feeling it. Tired of the mood swings, tired of hating myself, tired of freaking out about every single little thing, tired of being unable to let go of things that are out of my control, tired of my mind convincing me that nobody needs me, loves me, wants me in their lives–that in fact, they would all be better off without me.

When I went from pretty much perfectly happy to ready to give the fuck up because the landlord told us we had to move, I scared everybody. I scared me.

There’s a line in a song on the latest Linkin Park album that goes, “Been searching somewhere out there, For what’s been missing right here.” And it got me thinking. I’ve been looking for a magic bullet cure, and not doing the work. And in matters of the mind, there is no magic bullet cure without work. So I decided it’s time to unpack some of this shit, and try to heal.

Which is great…except I’ve been doing it without really talking to anyone about it. Not even M. And I think I’ve been sort of pulling away from M while I do it. And that’s just fifty shades of fucked up. He’s my lifeline, my rock. Everything I have, I have because of him. He means more to me than anything. I willingly and intentionally gave my life to him. And here I am, drowning in shit, and not telling him what’s going on in my head.

It’s not the first time. You can probably flip through this blog, and find twenty other posts saying the very same thing. My mental illness goes in cycles, but they are unpredictable and ever-changing. How much easier life would be if I could point to every time my mental health was going to spin wildly out of control, eh?

Weeks ago, we were talking about sex, or something, and he said, “I want you to communicate with me. I may disregard your opinion, but I want to know it. I thought you knew this.”

And I do. I always have. See the first paragraph for my lame excuse.

A few days later, we were having sex, and my arm was in a weird position. It started to burn, but I ignored it, because uhm…sex? But then it started to get out of control, so I wiggled a little to try to get it into a more comfortable position. It worked for a minute, but then it started to burn again, so I wiggled some more. Eventually, M noticed I was starting to panic a little and asked what was wrong.

Like, why did he have to ask? Why didn’t I just tell him?

He asked the same thing later. “If you’re in a lot of pain, you should tell me. I’m not a monster.”

Debatable. πŸ˜› But joking aside, I really don’t know why I didn’t just say something when it got too painful. Except…you know…that first paragraph up there.

The other day, instead of stewing in my shit, I decided to talk to him. It was silly. I knew it was silly. But some things he’d said made me feel like he was dismissing some things I’d said related to my health, and it hurt my feelings.

And…the world didn’t end. We didn’t get into an argument. We had a lengthy discussion about how we were both feeling about our relationship. I realized that I was pulling away from him in my attempts to work my own shit out. And that I need to take an extended break from (at the very least) Twitter. And that he wasn’t actually being a dick. I was just blowing things out of proportion.

And hey…maybe there’s a magic bullet cure for BPD for me, after all…if I do the work.

And I think that’s all I have to say about that. 💜

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