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Flaking

I had my therapy appointment scheduled for last Thursday but I called and canceled Wednesday.

Let’s circle around it:

Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of OCD. It it like a bully in my head magnifying physical flaws or creating imaginary flaws sometimes. It is often hard to ignore and I was spending too much time avoiding reflective surfaces, car windows, spoons, fucking ridiculous. I also was spending a lot of time looking at things to do to my face, laser, surgery, whatever.

It was before Christmas when it was really becoming a huge cloud eclipsing my normal brain functions so I had called the institute, made a consultation, then came in for intake. I liked the therapist and she made it sound as if she could help me.

After a couple of sessions and her handing me photocopies of pages of books I can buy on Amazon for $20, I was insulted.

Also it had come up in the second session that I wasn’t sure if some thought processes were borderline personality disorder or body dysmorphic disorder as borderline personality persons (depending on the type and I have all 4 types at different times) also struggle with physical appearance.

With BPD, anything and everything can be used to crucify myself. It can be past mistakes or the way I look or just something stupid I said 10 years ago. When this spiral started, I didn’t have this giant cloud of self-doubt about the way I looked hanging over me. Sure, I had a procedure in 2017. But it wasn’t crippling. It was just something I dealt with, usually peripherally.

What was bothering me was finding the meaning in life, feeling like garbage, worthless and empty, wanting a way out, a permanent one. Is the BDD out of control because the BPD is there or are they separate?

As far as I have read, lots of people with BPD also have BDD (maybe about 50 percent). In my case, as far as I can tell, the BPD is the mother of BDD and addressing BDD first is like giving me an eye patch when I really need brain surgery to change my eyesight.

I question my self-worth often and that can translate into physical appearance or intelligence or even whether I am a kind person. As of a couple of years ago I was able to channel what I considered the negative parts of BPD into productive actions and thoughts.

Example: Need a man’s approval? Better to make it about your work ethic and your competence in your job and not the way your face looks when you smile or how your ass looks in some of your size 2 jeans.

Can’t be friendly? Be kind. If I tell myself to be friendly, I inevitably fuck it up by just being awkward but if I just try to be kind, I find it easier.

Manipulative thoughts? Use them in non-shitty ways. Cause no harm.

I had a hundred rules for myself to conceal these, what I consider, shitty parts of myself and in the end, it didn’t matter because it overflowed and caused a fire that I still struggle to contain. Addressing only my obsessive thoughts about the way I look isn’t going to make this more manageable. It will help me not to focus on the physical parts of myself that cause me anxiety but then I will just turn to other things that I can’t see or touch, things that are just in my head bouncing around and breaking shit and causing chaos and lack of sleep.

I haven’t directly told the therapist I am not coming back but I don’t think I am going back, at least not until I address the bigger thing.

A lot of things we discussed involved childhood and I always hate talking about that because I am introspective, I go over lots of things in my head, daily, combing through and analyzing. I am mindful. I know when I am in a mood where I am like a venomous, hungry snake and I want to bite someone just to subdue that instinct for a minute. And I try to turn it into something productive or beautiful.

I’m not sure where I am supposed to go from here. I can continue on, using up more mental energy than a normal person would trying to contain the monsters or I can look for a therapist that may help me. My issue is that my self-awareness of who I am, what I am, is there and if some therapist tries to “cure” me with printouts from books and other cookie cutter shit, I am insulted. I do not respond.

I will try to maintain this blog about these ongoing thoughts and struggles because it used to help me. The mental exhaustion is too much sometimes.

Also, in a bid to do exposure therapy for myself, I am trying to make myself take pictures, one shots and upload. No sitting there and retaking until I find the right one. There is no right one anymore, there can’t be. I will always find a flaw and, because I am human and have flaws, I will always find one and focus on it until it distorts the bigger picture.

I am working on it.

Therapy is a huge pain in my ass

I miss my sessions with Denise, my last therapist. She’d let me skate around things and then the week after I would bring up how I had felt and .. you see where this is going, unhelpful. I miss her but she was right, it wasn’t helping. She cared too much about me for me to ever be 100 percent honest, an annoying thing I have (and lots of people have I’m sure).

My third session with Jane (not her real name) for body dysmorphic disorder treatment is this week.

I think sessions one and two were more about setup and expectations. Session two had some more things in it, like making pros and cons lists for healing versus keeping BDD. Unfortunately the pros of having BDD outweighed everything else.

She also asked me if I had the self-awareness to reason that I am not body dysmorphic disorder and I really don’t know. Maybe I used to but not anymore.

I feel very uncomfortable with everything but I do recognize that I am so much worse than I was two years ago. It’s the extreme social anxiety, the exhaustion even having conversations sometimes with people I’m friends with, and distrust in compliments.

Our of the common body image cognitive distortions provided by Dr. Thomas Cash, I have all six but they aren’t always all there, sometimes they rotate.

Also I have a hard time distinguishing what is from borderline personality disorder and what is its own mental illness. What the fuck?

This isn’t the most eloquent post but I wanted to record my feelings, even in this hasty manner, so I can look back later and reflect.

 

Tracking

I need to make a post that is consistent for updating my therapy sessions with Jenny for body dysmorphic disorder.

I just did session two yesterday and I think it’s a waste of time because the underlying issue is obvious but unaddressable.

I can’t update tonight because there have been a couple of deaths and I must deal with these first. <3

 

Look at me.

I read a creepy story within the last few years (supposedly true) about a kid who is home alone while his parents go out. One thing leads to another and there’s an intruder and later they find the intruder had watched the kid the entire time and the kid hadn’t heard. Intruder had written “Look at me, look at me, look at me” on the wall in scratches.

That little mantra has been in my head this week. “Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.”

My compulsions have went from constant checking of my face to complete avoidance. My first therapy appointment was Thursday and she gave me exercises to do. She called this “mirror work” which is terrifying to me just in its name.

Whenever I find myself forcefully avoiding my reflection, I have my little creepy mantra in my head, look at me.

soupy

Support and distraction are not the same. People lie about what they want and hide what they do. The conclusion is always insecurity. The closure is a bridge that can’t be crossed without falling to death.

ropes

Sometimes I am the rope to pull them out and they are the noose that strings me up and strangles me. People are like ropes, they can help you or they can kill you. I help, you kill.

addicted to unhappiness

Today is the first time in nearly a year that I’ve felt good about myself in an overall sense: beautiful, smart, confident, all of that gushy stuff.

That’s not to say I haven’t had moments where I’ve felt awesome in some area. Switching jobs made me feel good. Seeing my baby sisters made me feel good. Getting my voice again made me feel good.

At my psych appointment yesterday, I told her that I don’t want to take one of my medications anymore because it is making me gain weight. She didn’t believe me so she weighed me. I told her that feeling fat causes my BDD to become unmanageable, regardless of how much Zoloft I take.

She asked me why the first psychiatrist put me on that and I told her it was his kneejerk reaction (I assume) to the way I was feeling when I first came in and he was just trying to pull me out of the suicide ditch I’d made for myself.

That anniversary is up next but today I feel good and it had become such an unfamiliar feeling that I kept trying to figure out what was wrong. After taking inventory of my life and emotions, I concluded that nothing is wrong, that this is what happy feels like.

My first selfie on this blog in a while, or anywhere else public. Showered with some leftover eye makeup (need better makeup remover wipes!)

 

Anniversaries – two

Last year, on top of keeping a journal, I also kept a calendar where I marked important things. Things ranged from appointments to behaviors to triggers and anything significant (not all horrible, sometimes just things people would say to me that’d make me laugh).

October 6th, 2017 was the last time I cut myself. And tomorrow (technically today I guess though it is just after midnight at the moment), is 6 years since my mother was killed in a car accident. And I know each blog I’ve had, I’ve always pointed it out and I will probably do so for the rest of my life.

Because sometimes I still can’t believe she’s gone. This week I laughed when I bought computer glasses for work because they reminded me of the ones she had in prison, the ones she called “birth control glasses” because they were hideous.

I laughed again when I thought of the time she convinced herself that a moth had taken residence in her ear and would say, “But Felicia, I can hear it flying around!” She was like I am. Just convinced of things that are in my bubble and once self-convinced, cannot be unconvinced by others.

In my calendar, by this point last year, I had started drinking more. (To be fair, it started in the beginning of August, when Jared died.) I marked each day I drank (drank, drank again, etc). I’m glad I kept records because I forgot so much and it’s good to track progress.

My suicide book is not gone but transformed into a book I save solely to write intrusive thoughts, in mostly vain attempts to clear my mind when the medicine can’t kill them all. So I have placed this anniversary next to my mother’s and it isn’t a big one compared to what came later in the month, what came in November, December, January. The year has been full of intense changes, returned loves, and the excruciatingly slow process of self-examination and modification based on new knowledge.

Remembering my mom is sometimes a checkpoint for progress: how am I holding up? Am I the same or different? By how much?

I miss my mom a lot, forever. I miss myself from a year ago, only sometimes.

the creep and the morgue

As an exercise in trying to write more often, there will be stories like this – memories that sometimes pop into my head from childhood or wherever in the memoryscape.

 

When I was 10, my dad was informed that my great-grandma was dying in California and so we all went, dad’s adoptive brothers and all.

My great-grandma wasn’t lucid and I hadn’t even seen her since I was 5. I remembered her as being kind but old as fuck. I was indifferent to the dying thing when you’re old but I maintained my reverence to avoid getting an ass-beating later by my dad.

At some point of hanging out in the hospital room, I went to find the cafeteria to get some hot cocoa (it was January). I had already been to the cafeteria once with some of my adult relatives and found it without an issue. I had even memorized the way back because I was terrified of getting lost (different stories but I often got lost as a toddler in the mall or K-Mart and that has stuck with me, even as an adult).

I made my way back to the elevator with whatever I had bought and I looked in (I think we were on the eighth floor) and saw some creep standing in there, sneering at me. I stepped back and walked away to find another elevator (because I was also terrified of being kidnapped).

I remember I walked back toward the cafeteria but made a left turn in the hallway, searching for another elevator. I found one and no one was around; I got in. I remember that the buttons didn’t look the same as the ones in the elevator from before.

Now that I’m older, I realize I didn’t find a passenger elevator. I had gotten into a service elevator. I remember the way they were labeled didn’t give me any option to go back to the floor where my family was so I just clicked some randomly. The elevator started going down and down.  Then it stopped and the doors opened.

All I saw was a huge room that reminded me of a bunch of weird refrigerators and it was cold and really quiet. I didn’t get out, I just pressed some more buttons trying to get the fuck out of there. It was the morgue (I know now) but I remember feeling such dread and dealing with the creep from before would have been less scary to me in that moment.

I was a smart kid and somehow managed to get back to the cafeteria floor and trace my way back to the elevator I KNEW would take me where I needed to go. I made it back without panicking and no one even realized I was gone for longer than I should have been (which is the scariest part of all).

And that’s my story of how I ended up in the hospital morgue as a little girl, by myself. I never told anyone about it back then. My dad would have been pissed I got lost but it was partly his fault for making me so paranoid of strangers.

Not a really traumatizing experience but kind of creepy.

Prison

We would visit my mom almost every weekend the last year she was in prison. She would say, “If any of you ever end up in prison, I will get back in so you’re not alone in here.”

And now I realize something about those words and that promise.

I (more than usual) allow myself to think of my mom and the hole I have inside me because of her death. Her promise was about more than physical prison.

I spent so much time without my mom growing up, even hating her at times and refusing to speak to her for months, years. Having her back let me feel the true depth of happiness that I’d forgotten from childhood.

And she was always there to listen to me and support me even when she knew I was wrong; she always backed me up, she always stayed with me, on my side.

And I realize now that I am just like my mother and when she was gone, I was alone again. I hold my awareness she gave me through experiencing her behavior like the blade of a knife. I am just like her but instead of running and leaving things or people behind that I may cause pain, I turn it on myself. I deal with it alone because my mom was my fellow prisoner, because the bottomless pits inside of were never going to be filled but it was better to have a partner when trying the impossible.

I think it’s somewhat of a selfish reason to miss someone but she wouldn’t think so. I don’t even remember the dark parts of her anymore, just the light. And for that I am grateful because being alone is worse with too many dark memories.

 

 

thoughts about the dysmorphia are pervasive and intrusive, occupying up to several hours a day.

kevin laminto

My skull is a house and in the eaves there is this sparkling chaos; it is lovely and upsetting, terrible and exhilarating and I breathe it in more times than what is safe.

I slept through the last year and sleeping beauty isn’t me. I did not wake up to a prince assaulting me with a kiss; I woke up to a monster that climbed out around my sternum and hung around my ears, throwing magic dust in my eyes so everything became distorted. It was not a separate monster: I am the monster.

My dad always told me that if I slept when needed and did what I was told, the cucuy would stay dormant. Lies. The monster isn’t in the closet or under the bed, the monster is me and chained into my head.

I try to repackage myself by stabbing the intrusive thoughts with forceful psalms I make up when the beast is sleeping. No one surrenders.

I let surgeons fail at repackaging me. The love of men cannot repackage me. No knife or mortal thing can make me beautiful. Sometimes I make myself beautiful, other times I see my face change seven times in five seconds and recognition fails to fire off.

The blue pills tame the little monster with its chaotic hands and words just enough for sleep to come over me in a fog. My dreams are full of men telling me they wish they could love me but something is wrong with my face, something is wrong with my body.

Something is wrong with my brain.

 

 

“I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself.”

― Kiera Van Gelder, The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating

Untitled (disappear) – a poem

You slid out of me, ectoplasm,
and I let you. You are
a phantom stranger in
my memories with strong teeth
and living hands that reach
into my head through
dreams that drench me
in ice-cold sweat and I feel
dead when I wake up after
midnight to feel you flee
from the fake bed in my head.
I watch you float through walls,
away, your smile is unfamiliar.

untitled #389

The darkness came.

Your fingers were hexes but so clean
for you to pose my bones to fit around them.
By you, I was emptied
like a dollhouse overturned by a child pretending
to be a hurricane.

The darkness left.

tristeza

We are unimaginative when it comes to imagining each other’s pain, personal grief. Why, when someone dies, does it feel like a crack in your chest and everything goes dry except your eyes?

Why is it this?

“Oh my God.” Tears. “I’m sorry. I love you.” I don’t know what to say.

We cradle our condolences in our hands and try to use them to hold people together. Even those of us that know and believe that Death’s plan goes hand in hand with God’s, we feel betrayal. It stings.

Tonight as I sat with Santa Muerte, praying for protection and strength, I asked that there be comfort for my cousins, my dad. We have lost so much in the last 6 years.

This is just another public announcement of mine, to hug those you love, hold them close. Drop what or who doesn’t matter, don’t embrace people, jobs, or situations that make your heart hurt, flare up your mental illness, or make you lose sleep. Life is short, it’s promised to all of us that it will be.

Death is unstoppable and the way you love should be unstoppable too. Be kind. Apologize if you need to or stay silent if that suits you but do no harm. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

Descansa en paz, tía Connie. Que tu viaje sea al principio.

 

Cosmic vanity

Running list:

      • Tip rhinoplasty – October 2010
      • Laser liposuction – chin – June 2011
      • Botox – eye region – April 2016
      • Laser resurfacing – July 2016
      • Ultherapy – brows – July 2016
      • Buccal fat removal – July 2017
      • Blepharoplasty – Tentative February 2018 Brow lift – March 2018
    • Ultherapy – lower face/neck – no date set yet.

:(

There will be a time where you feel fine and you will think “I don’t need these pills.” And you will want to stop taking them. DON’T. You’re broken and the pills are part of the glue.

I was legit scared I was gonna be asleep when you had one of those last minute calls.

~Wonka

Same.

“I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognize me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humor were spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the center of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heart felt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.”

― Rachel Reiland, Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

one, two, stop

1.

he says come here and you go.
Consenting
Gutting

2.

Follow him into the forest,
the screaming of the vixen.
he gave me the gun
but I handled the trigger.
there’s water in the blood

3.

march
walk
dance
to his heartbeat

his humidity
skin
bones,
mine

acute

Nothing is worse than having to rely on others’ judgement because you are not capable of always making wise decisions or accurately assessing the character of a person.

I hate it.

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