Going Public with my Borderline Personality Disorder

I didn’t know how to feel about my diagnosis because I didn’t feel properly represented by the title “Borderline Personality Disorder”. The name is actually very misleading and has not helped with the stigma in the slightest. There are many assumptions about BPD for anyone who is not well educated on the issue, that is why I am here! I want to raise awareness and tell my story one post at a time. Without getting into what people think the disorder is, I am going to give you my own breakdown of how it’s affected me.

BPD to me is the result of my childhood abuse and exposure to extreme stress and conflict. It has affected my ability to trust the people in my life, has made me attach myself, feel abandoned or neglected if my love isn’t reciprocated, and has created a devil and angel on my shoulder, one that says “this person deserves all of me, they are my favorite person”, and the says “this person could be using or manipulating you, do not trust them, actually…. RUN!”. There is no grey or in between, and this is called “splitting” – where you put someone on a pedestal one moment but think they’re out to hurt you the next. I am very unstable with my emotions and have the inability to regulate them on a consistent basis.

These symptoms started right after I got an Order or Protection against my mother in 2016. I remember shopping for Halloween costumes with my partner at Value Village when I took note of the physical symptoms I had been having… I called my father and explained that I was feeling light headed, had blood randomly pump through my veins, my chest was tight, and I felt like I was having a heart attack. The worst symptom of all was the crippling feeling that I was forgetting something or had done something wrong. I was later diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and started medication which settled the physical symptoms immediately.

I had issues in many of my relationships during the following years. I had been surrounding myself with toxic people as well as starting unnecessary drama in other areas of life. I was destroying healthy relationships by victimizing myself and projecting my fear of abandonment onto the people I loved. At the same time, I was giving my everything to very unstable people who were similar to my mom and had no intentions of being genuine friends of mine. It took months of pain and self-reflection to realize that I was the root to all of my problems… I simply needed to weed out the toxic people and learn how to be a good friend to the people who care about me.

After making these realizations I was able to get my head straight with the people I trusted vs. the people I couldn’t. But I was still battling my thoughts within; I was experiencing flashbacks, re-occurring nightmares and had no ability to regulate my emotions under stress or frustration. I was strengthening my relationships again but would still have random moments where uncontrollable emotion would take over and all I could do was hyperventilate and cry in the fetal position. At times I even had thoughts that it would be easier to die than to feel the pain of my crippling emotions.

Children are very emotionally sensitive and can be influenced easily; I now understand why adults used to warn me not to fuck up the most formative years of my life. Being raised in a separated home with a disabled brother and parents who were also enemies, I was exposed to a lot of stress and tension. Emotionally I had to grow up very quickly and even tried to mitigate disputes between my parents as early as 2 years old. The only time I remember my parents being together, my mom screamed at my dad the entire drive home and I cried for her to stop. Although my dad began to avoid her for those reasons, these situations continued to escalate and over the years I started to exhibit physical symptoms of stress such as stomach aches and limb pain.

My mom’s hatred for my dad reflected on me in every way and I eventually endured the abuse after I picking a side and cutting my dad out. My mom had extremely high expectations for me, often I was set up for failure just so I could be grounded and under my moms watch and control. I grew up a sweet, loving girl and became a troubled child with behavioral issues that affected my school, friendships, and more. I was walking on eggshells all the time, being told to hate my dad constantly and if I had anything good to say about him I was shut out and emotionally tortured.

The fear I felt each morning of not knowing what could set my mom off that day gave me terrible anxiety. I would tell myself to behave and plan to say or do anything she wanted, but either way my mom would always find something to punish us for. This is an introduction to how my mental health issues started and what comes next is the story of my relationship with Jack, the Restraining Order and how BPD affected my loved ones.

My “Ex” moved in with my Mom – Grooming and Abusing

She always had something critical to say about the people that no longer want a relationship with her. She creates a victim narrative and likes to rally outcasts together to cheer her on. Once she is done with these vulnerable people, she slanders them and is on to the next victim. This information is very important for the following segment because from ages 1-13 I was around several different people that my mom had wrangled in with her charm and would abuse over time. Each of these people would be in our lives for a couple months or years at a time, but one of them was an ex-boyfriend of mine that my mom conveniently decided to keep around.

His name was Brandon, I don’t care to keep his name private as I personally think he was aware of what my mom was doing to me and got a thrill out of watching it all unfold. I was introduced by a friend to an older guy from high school, I was only 13 at the time so I was eager only in junior high. Shortly after meeting this person, I got to know his family, and coincidentally I had been going to school with his younger brother Brandon. Brandon had a crush on me and his brother knew it, so he asked me to give him a shot and go out with him. I dated Brandon for 3 weeks and broke up with him because I had no attraction to him other than his infatuation with me. My mom met him a at band camp (she always had to volunteer to my school events) was friendly with him from the start. Brandon was shy and weak-mined so when I broke up with him she asked me to remain friends with him because he was so nice to me.

Days, weeks and months went by and Brandon never left my house. He was frequently there from 8AM (with a coffee for my mom) until bedtime. It felt weird but my mom would rant and rave about what a good guy he was and that I was rude to not hangout with him. She always guilt-tripped me into inviting the outcast kids over and then she would be-friend them, usually after finding out they had a strained relationship with their parents. Months, bouquets and dozens of love letters later and my mom had helped Brandon convince me to date him again. I was miserable the entire time but decided to be happy with a “good guy” and please my family at the same time. My indifference to him quickly became dislike and then hatred. It felt as though he knew I wanted to be on my own and didn’t want him around, so he got a kick out of kissing my moms ass and being on her side of arguments.

At this point what I thought was a very close relationship with my mom turned into a relationship full of spite and frustration. My mom knew after months of dating again that I was done, and she tried very hard to change my mind. I broke up with Brandon in my Garage and expected him to go home right after so I could continue on with my life, but nope, he waited in my garage for 40 minutes until my mom came home. They spoke for hours and trust me when I say; this kid never left my house again. My mom told me that I wouldn’t ever find a guy that cared about me like he did.

This break up was different from the first. Brandon became a monster. He knew my relationship with my mom was not healthy, and decided to work against me in every way possible. My mom decided that since he would never be with me, that he should be an older brother figure and go with me everywhere. From junior high through high school I was grounded constantly, for anything from doing chores incorrectly to “talking back” which was really just anyone disagreeing with her. These groundings were a perfect way for my mom to keep a close eye on me and a tight grip as well. Id have my phone and electronics taken away, my social media passwords changed and would be forbidden from seeing my friends for an upwards of 3 months at a time.

Since Brandon was around every single day, it was an opportunity for my mom to keep another set of eyes on me! At this point I was just going into grade 10 and Brandon already had his license. I was happy to take the bus each day to and from school but because my mom didn’t trust me, she had Brandon drive me to school and back every day. I had no say, it was a part of the punishment, she did anything in her power to keep Brandon and I together. At first Brandon would just mind his own business but with time and my mom’s influence, he eventually started thriving off of my mom and I fighting. He began to spy on me at school and update my mom with pictures and texts about what I was doing or who I was with. I should mention that my mom would always drive a wedge between my brother and myself by telling him I was abusive to him, and this became a trend with Brandon too.

This became an issue for my privacy as I was constantly being told on, monitored and would get grounded for months at a time, taking my social life from large to almost nothing. My mom was happy and had everything she wanted when I was stuck at home with no contact from anyone but herself and Brandon. She had all my passwords to everything (bank included), had “friends” of mine to keep her updated 24/7, a tracker on my phone and car keys and would punish me for “not respecting her”. Over time I felt completely harassed as my mother was always battling me, my family didn’t trust me, my friends had heard rumours about me- from my mom- and had absolutely no sense of self. I had years of my mom calling me names or telling me there were too many things wrong with me and I eventually became that person.

Read my next post about my relationship with J to get a better idea of where life took me after this. But I will say that Brandon continued to live with my mom, he enrolled in the same program as me at university and essentially stalked me from the back of class. Today, he is just another one of my mom’s enemies. I have no contact with any of them but mutual friends and family have informed me that Brandon was kicked out for having too many girls over as my mother claimed he was a sex-addict. Her biggest claim was that he said something rude about her to my older disabled brother. I saw this coming of course, not her accusations, but I knew Brandon would eventually branch off from my mom and get major backlash from her while doing so.

Alienated – Lonliest years of my life.

My mom was working me against my dad from the beginning. I remember the first time I understood that they hated each other. The story my mom tells is that Auntie Kelly (dad’s sister) was bullying her and that I begged my mom to let me listen to a mean voicemail… We were in her bed laughing and cuddling when she suddenly put her voicemail on speaker. I can remember my Aunt’s stern voice telling my mom to leave them alone and never to harass them again. I have no recollection of asking to hear this, but even as a child I would nod and smile when my mom would tell her versions of stories. Just recently my aunt explained that the voicemail I heard as a kid was recorded after months of harassment and false accusations.

All I felt was confusion, why is my family treating each other this way? My mom taught me that my dad would take her to court to fight child-support. I now know that my dad was paying more than ordered and my mom was taking HIM to court for more money. While this all was becoming the norm in my life, I was also adjusting to school and “counselling sessions”. My mom would tell each teacher and therapist/psychologist I had that my dad was abusive and to trust him. Specifically not to let him take me or sign paperwork for me- which is not how it works as my dad had joint custody of me and had all rights. But because there was so much controversy, I was constantly being asked by teachers and staff if I was safe at home.

My mom would tell me awful things about my dad and my own family. Anyone that cut her out would get the wrath of Nat. When she would argue with my grandma (her mom), she would make sexual abuse claims about her with her own children- which both my Aunt and Uncle deny being abused by her. She’d also make accusations about her brother and sister, one story was about my aunt provoking someone to kill themselves in high school. The things that hurt the most were the things she would say about my dad and his immediate family. She claimed they were abusive, crazy, incestuous, and many more sickening accusations.

If I questioned anything she said or defended my dad in any way, she would melt-down and lash out. My brother and I were too often exposed to adult-issues and bared the weight of all of my moms emotions. If she felt like we were not going along with the way she wanted to portray things, she would threaten to leave and never come back or sometimes even threaten suicide. My brother and I were so young and wanted nothing more than to make my mom happy so we had to walk on eggshells constantly. We’d wake up every morning, just wondering what would spark the blowup that day…. so I developed stomachaches and behavioural issues.

I began stealing from friends, from stores and eventually even people I babysat for. I didn’t want to do these things, but my mom had access to my accounts and would send herself money (I started working at 12) after buying me school supplies or winter jacket; she once took out $2000 of my own savings to put as a down payment on a Jaguar. I had no sense of self-worth, I was being told daily that I was a criminal, liar, mentally ill, bitch that had no hope for a healthy future. I did not feel like I had much to lose.

The emotional turmoil over the years forced me to choose a side and unfortunately I chose my mom… I guess this is normal with parental alienation. Often the abusive parent makes it so hard for the child to maintain positive thoughts about the other parent that it forces the child to choose a side just for the sake of their sanity. My mom would rant and rave everyday about everything my dad had apparently put her through and if we didn’t have anything to say, she would freak out and say that we were not supportive or appreciative of her. The most stressful punishment of all was the silent treatment… Do you know how heartbreaking it is to have your own mother ignore you? when you have no idea what you did wrong or how you could make it better?

Throughout the years my mom had made very large purchases with my brother’s million dollar settlement from his accident. The house is under his name, her RV, horse, hellcat challenger… ETC. It was all paid for under my brother. She not only abused us mentally, emotionally and verbally, but she financially abused my brother, grandma and father too. She was so manipulative that she would convince my brother that these purchases were for him, but he doesn’t even drive: due to epilepsy he cannot get his licence. My brother was into Manga and comic book expos…not sports cars and property.

Anyhoo – I did not see my dad for 4.5 years from 13-17 years old. He attempted to reach out multiple times and came to my school with a birthday card each year, but my mom would lose her mind anytime she heard he was around. After I met my boyfriend, I re-united with my dad and we’ve been back together ever since, but before I get to that CRAZY story…. I have to tell you about someone from my nightmares. Brandon.

BPD VS BIPOLAR – Stigma

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, to whomever might care!

I’ll be working on posting another part of my timeline tonight. For now here is a link to BPD Symptoms, for anyone that needs a better idea of what we struggle with daily!

https://pin.it/7gcDiEk

And if you need clarity on the difference between Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, check this link out as well. They are VERY different and often I get labelled incorrectly as Bipolar.

https://pin.it/nQxW6RA

Sexual Abuse Trauma – My Overlooked Story

DISCLOSURE: The names I have used in this post are fake and used to protect the individuals mentioned. My abuser was a child herself (we had a 5 year age gap) and was more than likely abused before she started taking advantage of me herself.

I was just 6 years old, it was spring/summer and my mom was excited to be re-connecting with an old friend from her high-school. We made a trip down to Redwood Meadows to surprise “Anne”, which she had planned with Anne’s husband over the phone. When we got there my mom asked me to take a gift to the door and ring the bell. Once they had reunited, they introduced each other to their families; Anne had an 11 year old daughter Sandy, with her high school sweetheart Mike.

This evening was the first night I had ever seen my mom drunk (to my knowledge). I remember being terrified, I was upset that my mom would be acting this way at a random house when I needed a parent to feel safe. She decided that we would sleep there for the night since she had been drinking and at this point I was a very unsure about the whole evening. Their daughter Sandy approached me ever so kindly and offered to show me around her room. Right away I felt like we were best friends and she was almost twice my age so I really looked up to her.

She was different, she was much older than me yet she was so interested in being a part of my life. So much so that when I slept there, she invited me to have a sleepover with her in her room. We stayed up the latest I had ever before and we had tons of fun getting to know each other. Sandy told me that she wanted me to be her little sister and that we could be this close forever, but under one condition – We had to make it official by drawing blood. Although I was scared, I agreed to become blood sisters and she pulled out a razor to cut both of our fingers. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was very charming but also had a dark and almost evil side to her.

Shortly after I met the family, we took another trip down to Redwood to see “The Bowens” again. This time we stayed the whole weekend and I was excited to get even closer to my new best friend and “blood sister”, but this meeting was different. As soon as we made ourselves comfortable at their home, Sandy pulled me aside to show me something. We were looking around her room and immediately she told me not to touch any of her things, I was insecure and embarrassed that she didn’t trust me touching her stuff. We then sat together and she showed me two diaries that she had asked her parents to buy for us.

She told me that these were our ‘sister diaries’ and that if anyone were to read them or question anything about what was in them, that I was to lie and defend the book with everything in my heart. She disclosed that we would be doing things together that were very secretive and that if anyone were to find out, we would be in huge trouble. I did not understand but I agreed, this is the first time anyone has confided in me, especially an older female influence. We filled out the basic information and went about with our games, which included ‘doctor’ and ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’.

Sandy couldn’t wait to show me what these games were really all about, but because it was a secret, we had to wait ’til bedtime and hide from our families. In the meantime, Sandy had me do a few things to ensure I could keep secrets. The first thing I remember her doing was have me crawl through a water culvert (metal piping for water to run through under the road). It was small, dark and dirty but I was also small and was eager to impress my new friend, so I crawled through. We then walked across the street to a convenience store where she handed me a pack of gum and told me to hide it while we walked out together. These two things I was not allowed to tell anyone about and in those moments I had experienced my very first shadow of guilt.

Later that night, Sandra told me to change into my pajamas but also brought me over to her parents room where she said she preferred to change. Just a few minutes later her father walked in and asked us if we needed help changing to which I replied “no thank you”, so he just sat and watched. At that moment I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t really know what or why I felt that way.

To this day, I am not sure why but Sandy begged our parents to let us sleep in the back of the SUV in the garage. Once they were convinced, we set ourselves up in the trunk and started our night with a portable DVD player and some snacks. We started playing Sandy’s games and each time, she would tell me to be the guy in the game because she already had grown breasts. I agreed because Sandy was my role model and I was just happy to be playing with her. She then proceeded to take my clothes off and kiss me.

I was not exactly sure of anything that was happening because she had been the first to expose me to these things. She continued to perform sexual acts on me and told me to do the same to her. I did not know it was wrong but I knew that I was not allowed to tell anyone, not even my mom. The next morning I remember my mom asking me why she came out to check on us and we were naked, and asked if Sandy had touched me or kissed me at all that night… All I could think about was what Sandy had told me; “do not tell anyone or else you will get in so much trouble and we will never be allowed to see each other again”.

After a few weeks together and being exposed to all kinds of sexual acts, I was shown a game called SIMS and a website called pornhub. Sandy would google and print off pictures of male private parts and tell me about all the places those parts should go in a woman. We played SIMS for hours until her parents were asleep, then she would show me what she really used the game for, as she would undress the characters and make them shower or have sex. If you’re familiar with the game you should know that these scenes are censored for good reason, but she would use cheat codes to uncensor the private parts. This was the very first time I was ever exposed to male genitalia or the mere concept of sex.

This is just the intro to my sexual abuse with Sandy. She continued to force me to do dangerous and/or sexual favors to please her for 3 more years. If I ever refused she would punish me with the silent treatment and say terrible things to hurt my feelings. I think back now and at this age it would be so easy to tell her off and not even entertain her requests but I was 6 and trusted as an elder sisterly role-model. We visited the Bowens every week or so for about 3 years until our mothers had a falling out resulting in our families hating each other.

I was completely brainwashed for those years and it took a long time to realize that I was being taken advantage of sexually. I had been shown several things and was forced to do multiple acts that I shouldn’t have ever been exposed to and I never told anyone out of fear that something bad would happen to me. I was manipulated and abused sexually, verbally and emotionally by Sandy from 6-9 years old which started the mental warfare in my life.

Next blog post: Parental Alienation and Toxic Parenting

Mom & Dad (& Brother)

From what I know, my mom and dad met at 26 and 30. After just a few months, I was conceived and then born the day before my dad’s 31st birthday. He has always said I was his birthday present and always wished for a brown hair and brown eyed baby girl. My mom always said that my dad didn’t believe I was his and refused to pay full child-support. Before I get into things, you should know that I’m a bastard… Yes – You heard that right! My parents were hardly dating let alone married. And they never did marry or stay together.

The earliest stress I remember feeling was watching my mom scream and cuss at my older brother, Jory and ground him for months at a time for watching too much tv or not remembering to clean the litter, etc. Jory is 7 years older than me and has another dad that has unfortunately never been in his life. My brother has always been the most charming, giggly, happy and motivated person I’ve ever met but unfortunately, before I was born, my brother was in a trail-riding accident in Radium BC when he was just 4 years old. His head and body were smashed in by the horses hooves and he was flown by helicopter to a hospital in a coma. Ever since, he has suffered from severe mental and physical disabilities but has never let those issues get in the way of his work ethic and desire to please everyone around him.

I was stressed because I was mad that my brother was being so bad all the time and that he was causing my mom such anger. I was also stressed because that’s my big brother and he needs patience and support. I was confused. Other than when my brother would run around the house for hugs before bed, I don’t remember any times that my mother was affectionate with my brother. In fact, we were grossed out by him with because my mom would say things like, “Ew he drools” or “Jory you smell so bad”, as a 3 year old these were the only things I heard therefore they were the only things I believed. So I regretfully admit to abusing my brother verbally and emotionally throughout my childhood as well.

Back to Mom and Dad… All I felt was love. I loved my mommy and daddy more than anything in the world, but I knew from birth that they couldn’t even be in the same room as each other. To me that was normal, I never dreamt of a husband and family, I dreamt of being a single mom. I knew something wasn’t okay when my mom started crying about my dad’s family and pestering me with questions and accusations after weekend visits. I loved both sides of my family, but I saw my mother hurting and began losing trust with my dad’s side.

From the ages 7-12 I started to rebel against my dad because I knew that he was constantly in court with my mom. I didn’t know what court was but my mom said I couldn’t play sports or learn instruments because my dad would not pay child support let alone extra-curricular activities. As my social life got cut more with less actives to do, I would start to test my dad with accusations I had heard from my mom and he would just tell me I was too young to understand. He would also tell me that I shouldn’t be hearing these things, even if they were true. These statements just made me mad because, well that’s how my mom would react.

Stay tuned for my post on the 4 years I was alienated from my dad and the severe emotional and verbal abuse I endured during that time.

BPD in Quarantine

Borderline Personality Disorder…. where to I even start? If I were alone at these times and didn’t have my partner of 5 years and my new companion Jersey, I’d be hooped.

The thing about BPD is that you often feel more than you think. It’s although you have a gaping hole in your heart and it takes a very special connection with a person and/or animal to fill it. It feels like nobody could possibly understand the level of loneliness and uncertainty you feel each day. I often say; I can feed off of everyone’s energy around me and it can make or break my mood, but my feeling of emptiness came from my belief that nobody I loved could possibly understand or reciprocate my emotions.

I am very lucky to have such a strong support system in my life because when I don’t, I want to die. It doesn’t come from a place of wanting anything from anyone but from a place of abandonment and neglect. In these moments I feel like anyone who loves me is absent and especially when I’m misunderstood, I feel like they’re just going to leave me and never turn back. The difference between most other personality disorders and mine is that I have a crippling fear of abandonment as well as an intense uncertainty of who I am and what my purpose is. It feels selfish to have these feelings but because of my childhood trauma, I have little trust left to give anyone. Not even myself.

If you’re reading this and my words resonate with you, please remember to get up and do something. Anything. The more time you spend alone or on social media, the less you’ll know about yourself. Pick up a book, or a pen or ball. Take your passions and interests seriously and distract yourself with those things each time your mania begins. You are loved but you’ll only feel that love if you love yourself first.