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An interesting commentary on Identity, from Deepak Chopra:

Your body and your mind (are) the metabolizers of experiences in consciousness.

Many bodies and many minds exist in us: body of a child, teenager, baby.

Body and mind are constantly dying and being reborn.

Body and mind are only sensations.
They are discontinuous, intermittent.
Something so intermittent cannot be the real you.
Threads of desire, impulses of memory.

Memory is very unreliable as a form of identity.
Our true identity is the screen of consciousness in which these experiences come and go.

The onlooker is always there.

That is the real meaning of the phrase, in the ancient wisdom of (adanta? I don’t know this reference he makes, or how to spell it):

“I’m not in the body; the body is in me. I’m not in the mind; the mind is in me. I’m not in the world; the world is in me.”


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attachment pain

I’ve continued to feel distraught and perturbed from my last session. Although I have maintained what has been a very active social life in the last 3 days, I have felt internally as if I have just broken up with someone, ended a relationship. That horrible feeling like part of my world has crumbled, and nothing except seeing him again will make it go away. The amount of angst I am feeling around my therapist is humbling to me, and I keep wanting to fix it. I guess I’m not sure how to move it. If I should be speaking up to him that I am / have been affected this way or just endure until our next session, which is not for another week and a half.

Aside from the whole wanting to be special / heart-broken thing, another part of my perturbment is that I want him to confirm that he sees the split in me; he sees why I am there in his office, that he doesn’t think I’m being a drama queen. Yes, there is that term again – drama queen. What is real. Yada yada … yada yada … I keep comparing myself to the patients he sees in the psych ward who are unable to have a normal conversation and who, if left to their own devices would off themselves immediately.

If I’m not that, I don’t deserve therapy. I should get my act together and get on with it. I keep feeling as if something in me that I am not particularly in control of is driven obsessively to prove to him that I am bad enough to need therapy.

On the other hand, another part of me knows without a doubt that I do, and I am benefiting from seeing him.

And this very debate going on in my mind IS why I am there. It permeates every part of my life. The feeling of having secret personalities, secret lives; the obsessive flip-flop anxiety and catastrophic self-doubt I feel when I put myself out there, with resumes, career paths, training, etc.

And, the fact that I feel heart-broken at the ending of a session because he did not say how wonderful and special I am, take me into his arms and tell me everything’s going to be alright. The familiar heart-break / abandonment / rejection pain that throbs through my chest, down my arms and out my fingertips, leaving my body feeling “dead”, completely empty, without will, defeated. Dead.

My attachment with him is becoming more painful, and the intensity of it scares me a little. Maybe because he’s a therapist, he’s not going to abandon ship without telling me, and I will actually be able to work through this.

iStock attachment finger


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what it took for god to get me to surrender (all the secrets i was holding)

EXTREME TRIGGER WARNING

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what am i afraid of happening again, why I struggle to trust life again, to live again. all the stakes that were so high. all the secrets i was holding:


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More on Dissociation & Identity Confusion

I’ve been triggered by two prospective job situations, which spurred two opposite presentations of myself to the prospective employers.
For the one, at a disability resource centre run for and by people with disabilities, I sent my prospective boss my story on Canada AM Speak Out on Suicide. I acknowledged that it was a lot more personal than would ordinarily be considered appropriate, but that I need a work situation where I don’t have to hide. This person went from wanting to get me in as soon as humanly possible to not responding for what has now been 4 days. And so, maybe she is afraid of me now, or doesn’t want to hire me. The way I see it, that is good information. Great! Very clear. I do not want to have anything to do with her.
Okay, so the second prospective job I did not actually send in my application to. I only got to updating my resume and writing a new bio, and froze there.
There were all my awards, all of the perfect experience and attributes for the position, all of the indicators of exceptional talent that would get me hired in a flash. It took me into a place of hiding again. Pretending. Denying. Dissociating. Shame. If I did get hired, I would have to deny the underbelly of me again.
Tantrum. Images of head bashing. Self-hatred, hopelessness, panic, isolation, abandonment.
It’s good to observe that I just can’t go there right now. I just can’t go there. I feel sad.
Confession on Dissociation — November 23rd 
Everyone else could see how damaged I was — how hard I tried, how hard life was, how shy and insecure I felt at times. But me — I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t admit it. Instead, I bent over backwards to deny / hide it, and present myself as a leader, an honours student, a talented person, instead.
Now, I want to redeem myself with everyone, the world.
It’s as if I’ve been inviting people over to my (metaphorical) house, with decapitated heads on the coffee table that I can’t even see.
Some leave right away, without an explanation, and I am baffled. Some pretend with me in the moment that the heads aren’t there, but never visit again unless it is convenient or they need something.
What am I not seeing now?
Living with mental illness is like telling people about the heads and inviting them in anyway.
Mundane moment i’ve been grieving: Award ceremony for receiving the national leadership award. Fall 2010. I don’t want to go because i don’t want to be seen alone, because i feel alienated and alone in my community. My non-profit and my marriage have failed and I have not been open about either; people have seen me working as a cashier, and drawn their own conclusions, avoiding my till ’cause they don’t know what to say. I have been sleeping on massage tables, couches & floors in basements & trailer parks for much of the previous year. I tell my school counselor that I just might not go to the ceremony. I call my Dad, courageously tell him I don’t have anyone to go with me to the ceremony and that I’m thinking of not going at all, and ask him if he is able to come. He doesn’t understand. He says no.     And so, I didn’t go.
In 12 step work, we often try to notice how a pattern in our lives began, and how it is affecting us now. This helps us forgive ourselves and release the pattern. Sometimes. 🙂 I’m writing about this because it’s been triggered, so obviously, I have not been able to release it. But then I start to feel a little bit out of place with 12-step work. Because  mental illness is not simply a pattern that can be released. It’s not like a pattern of lying, or over-eating, or drinking.


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identity confusion / unstable sense of self

This morning, I woke up with this image in my head, and immediately went about creating it:

Illustration of Identity Confusion

Here is a collection of writings from this site on the topic of this aspect of bpd:

identity confusion

Walking the line in flip flops

crazy for thinking I’m crazy

inconsistent soul

Hello world

to my therapist – “titanic”

meandering identity

precocious ego development

trusting perception + trauma is trauma

deprived heart

dialectic gems (or pebbles)

dialectics, again + confirmation: i am not faking it. i am not a fraud.

Related Articles from others:

Reinventing self … The BPD unstable sense of self and identity rears its ugly head again (showard76.wordpress.com)

Constant career changes … the BPD unstable sense of self and identity (showard76.wordpress.com)

Borderline Personality and the Unstable Sense of Self (borderlinetreatmentcentres.com)


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dialectic gems (or pebbles)

nina_warminger_onthefence

'On the Fence' by Nina Warminger

random ping pong

identity like a light bulb

that swings

between

the hero and the fool
the gracious queen and the awkwardly misfortuned beggar
infinite connection and indefinite isolation
hip, chic, sophistocated and hippy go lucky
girl, woman and mental patient next door
unique, special, beautiful soul and
strange, ugly, terminally missing the boat.

sources of social anxiety
confusion, shame
for feeling like a fraud
but what else can i be

i can only truly roam
with others who travel
these fence posts
rarely traversing on either side for long
seeking refuge on the borders
outskirts, inbetweens and etherworlds

we are both, all and sundry or none

we are in between

suspended slightly off the ground in motion