i want to gather the club members from far and wide in a giant living room, for an eternal pajama party. an eternal retreat. just our presence and the fact that we can understand each other and how to be gentle with each other will heal us, and give us strength to venture out into the non-member world occasionally for an adventure now and then, or when necessary; but our home is there for us to come home to, where there is safety and healing in the physical presence of our numbers together. we can assure and remind each other daily that we are not ‘difficult’ people; whatever happened to us actually did happen, that we are loved, and that we are not alone.
i’m sick like a dog today — head like a bowling ball, throat like razors.
i feel injured inside, feeling the divide between “normal” people and Survivors (with a capital S). Survivors of … abuse, trauma, a combination of the two, or bpd’s, or any other mental illness or experience that has driven you to the ends of the earth and you have lived to tell about it.
a friend of mine i knew in school last year was also recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder as well as avoidant personality disorder. i feel the ending of our closeness, where she is finding wellness in carrying on as always, and just making an extra effort to be nice to people, kind of living in spite of the diagnosis. she really does seem to be genuinely happy and things really do seem to be going wonderfully for her. knowing her, i could genuinely see some kind of cognitive or emotional dysfunction — her diagnosis wasn’t a surprise to me, — but her response is saddening to me, and of course one of the triggers i am dealing with on the inside today.
rationally, i think if she truly has a personality disorder, she will eventually have to deal with it head on, if things deteriorate, like boyfriend, job, new home, etc. but really, and as her friend, I hope she doesn’t. i hope she got enough identity from these diagnosis to understand herself in a way that she could work with and move on from in a positive and healthy way. there is a scale for all these pd’s, and aspects of all of them in us at various times in our lives. maybe some of us may just have to dip our toes in the pd waters to gain the validation we need. i also pray that if she has to fall, and give up the fight, that she survive the fall and finds the support she needs in the global family of Survivors.
i guess what i feel now is that she is not a family member, not a member of the club. she hasn’t surrendered, and maybe she never will. i have to move her to a more external ‘intimacy ring’ in my life, and i do this reluctantly, not from a judgemental place.
i feel this path in life, the path of being a member of the club (referencing Molly Wolf’s short story), isolates me in many ways — ways that only members of the club can ever possibly understand. i see that it may not be possible to have many friends, or fit in with society in the ways that non-members take for granted. this is daunting, and a planet full of sadness comes over me.
last night, i was talking with someone i’ve been flirting with, once a week at a musical jam night, for the past couple of months. we haven’t had very many times to talk one on one with each other, and so far, our energies together have been whacky and playful in a fun way, which i have been drawn to. like many in my life, i have been able to be honest enough to admit that i live with a mental illness (or sometimes, i say that i deal with chronic fatigue, or anxiety, or chronic stress …). what i cannot bring myself to tell people is what the mental illness is called. i just feel that most people would misunderstand it so horribly if they ever looked it up on the internet that it would backfire on me, so i tell them everything i can without saying the name of “it.” the thing is, my story has been inconsistent. people feel that i am keeping something from them; that i don’t trust them, or that they can’t trust me to be truthful, or that if i’m keeping it from them, it must be really horrible and they should exercise extreme caution with me. fuck. i’m damned if i tell, and damned if i don’t.
i don’t want to keep people on the outside, and certainly if another person is considering getting closer to me, i do not want to keep them in the dark; but nor do i want to scare them away. so, already having established the mental illness thing, as well as the fact that i am living with my Mother; when he asked if i was working at the moment, i ventured as far as to tell him that i am applying for disability. innocently, he responded saying, “What’s your disability? You’ve always seemed perfectly fine to me.”
i crashed and burned from there. i tried to just go straight to the heart of the answer, once again avoiding the name of the diagnosis, telling him about the “exceptional range of confidence” (written about in my post ‘disability application process‘), which made about as much sense as any crazy person, eh. … yeah. yep. fuck.
dating sucks for the members of the club.
this disorder is so hidden at first. only now, almost a year after arriving here is the newness starting to wear off, the reality of what i live with starting to be felt — only by me of course. that phenomenon of people not being able to relate or attach to me is starting to happen again. the thing that i tried to think positively about all my life, hoping that i was just seeing the negative, and if i could just not listen to those thoughts, they would go away.
so here i am. it’s finally acknowledged in me and my therapeutic connections as real. now how the hell am i actually going to live with it in society. the earth is not solid beneath my feet today.
breathe. appreciate the moment. it is sunny outside. i am fed. i am warm. there are people in the world who truly know me and love me, even if there is no living room and we are not in our pajamas together, in the flesh.
- the club (heartjunky.wordpress.com)
- This Week in Mentalists – Creeping Hashtags Edition (twim-blog.org)
- PTSD Update (gunnerscorner.wordpress.com)
- Another 10 Mental Illnesses and Their Myths (sutrawidanta.wordpress.com)
- Working With Borderline Personality Disorder – Dr Joseph Burgo (twim-blog.org)
- BPD – Why It’s Hard To Talk About (infinitesadnessorwhat.wordpress.com)
- the worst things to say (heartjunky.wordpress.com)
- Mental Illness is just that. Illness. (exhilarationdefined.wordpress.com)