Hello world. I am, once again, back. I'm not going to pretend that this isn't something I've said over and over, but I do feel this time might be different. I've felt so much that I've been drowning for a long time. Friends and family have buoyed me up, but left to my own devices I just sink under. A week ago I was finishing a four day retreat from which I came home feeling that all my tumbling thoughts had been stacked neatly onto shelves. They've all fallen off again, which was kind of devastating. however, switching back to my first analogy, I'm not drowning all the time I'm on my own. I've been able to kick to the surface on my own and take a breath before I sink again. Of course seeing and making friends is a big part of that and my Blood Brother keeps me going as best he can, but I'm just gently learning how to stop thrashing around and just be in the water (much like today on the boating lake with Monty, where I had an epiphany that if I held the oars still in the water it would settle the boat).

It really is a case of baby steps. It has to be - I know I'm really one for trying to run before I can walk. So, I will just record that:

- on retreat I wrote a poem. First writing in months.
- Shortly after coming home I started drafting a story for my nephew which may entail my learning to draw cats,
- My alter ego ravenrosebud is starting a tumblr account which will simply post good things, nice things, spiritual things, things that connect me to God.

For the moment, that's it. I can't focus on getting better and getting back into being a rabid fangirl and writing and crafting all at the same time. Putting tiny little things in place which can take the edge off in a crisis is probably the most helpful thing for me at the moment, so that will be the focus for a while. Hopefully a return to life may yet grow from these green shoots.

Love you all
Gaya xxx
This might be triggery. I'm leaving it public though because I don't feel the need to be ashamed of either having low self-esteem or being a person who hates themself. That is just the way I am built.

Just going to lob this up here because I nosed through my twitter feed from last night and found that I'd said some things that made me quite uncomfortable, and I want to clarify some things about how my brain works so that in future I can just point people here.

Borderline Personality Disorder, which I may or may not have, have had in the past or will be going to be rediagnosed with in the future, is thought of as an attention-seeking condition. Without getting into the hugely negative and unhelpful juvenilising connotations of the term attention-seeking (but just to clarify this is not generally a voluntary action), let me say that I know I have attention hoarding behaviours. I am acutely aware of that, in fact. More than anything else about my illness, it drives me to distraction that I have times when I act that way and can't get a handle on it. But believe me when I say I will always know what I'm doing.

On the other hand, that is not my only mental health issue, nor is it the most prevalent. Depression is a hugely self-deprecating illness and I have had it in some form or another since I was four years old. You learn very, very quickly how to put yourself down as a simple part of your everyday communication. Just because I seek attention sometimes, it doesn't mean that when I cut myself I want people to see it bleeding through (there's a reason I cut where you can't see). Just because I seek attention sometimes does not mean I don't go through months where I genuinely freak out every night thinking about things that went on in my past. Just because I seek attention sometimes, does not mean that when I walk out onto a bridge with a lethal drop it's so someone will call the police and get me a bit of worry and concern. (One of my attempts involved a helicopter being called out and I was physically sick when I realised the expense I had incurred). I'm not trying to be dramatic, I'm just saying, there are things I do that you might think of as being for attention, but they're not, they're other things that are also hardwired into my systems. And believe me when I say I know the difference, and I would hazard a guess that the more experienced Gaya-watchers among you would be able to tell the difference between me doing something because it's the way I am, and me doing something to provoke a reaction in others. (I am slowly but surely getting a grip on this - I am nowhere near as bad as I was even a few years ago, and I'm learning that if I need someone, asking actually is enough. But I am painfully aware that it's not gone yet.)

All this is a precursor to saying the following:

I know I often throw casual self-insults and put-downs into conversation, and it can seem that they're ways for me to gather compliments from others. They're not. They are just me being me, because part of my illness is that I hate myself with a passion I cannot describe in words. As much as I love you all for shoring me up, I am not going to stop despising myself anytime soon, and putting oneself down like that is pretty much a reflex, a way of putting myself in my place before someone else has a half-hearted attempt at doing so.

Last night on Twitter, I was in a chat about fic writers and threw in something disparaging about myself, and it ended up being a bit of a love-in with a bunch of us complimenting one another. Which is very nice, but I had a valid point and it got sidetracked when people began to feel the need to tell me that I'm not a crap author. Reading back, it's so easy to interpret that as me saying "I suck" so that people on Twitter will say "No you don't."

That's really not what I wanted to happen. I got completely derailed by it, TBH. Especially as one of the people there I know is unerringly honest, and if I say "Do I suck?" I will get a gentle, kind, honest opinion. Last night I really didn't need to put those attention tools into action. But I realise that for people who are not experienced in the minutiae of my terminology - yeah, it comes across that way. To compound that, I wasn't really in a place last night where I could accept compliments, I found them almost physically painful because of the disjunct with how I was feeling about myself, and it all got terribly uncomfortable and then I had to go write a traumatic incident to calm down.

Bottom line is, if you think I might be seeking attention, you can ask. Ask me, or if not ask someone who's been here forever what they think I'm doing. If I am attention seeking, being called on it knocks it right out of the oval. If I'm not, I should be able to say so and maybe notice that I was putting myself down unconsciously, which is a similarly bad habit. And if I'm freaking out totally, run and hide, or if you can bear to, just let me talk myself out of steam, and then ask.

I will always know if I'm doing it, though, if someone asks me to consider whether I am. Odds are, though, I'm just insulting myself because that's what I do, and you can let it pass. If I need attention, I know better ways of getting it than casting out snide asides and hoping someone picks them up.

ETA: I do realise how frustrating it is to live with. I do. Imagine how frustrating it is from this side of things... no-one asks to be this way.
If you can get past the adverts, both on the page and the author pointing out that they've written a book every second sentence, this brief article makes clear something very relevant to me, and something that I struggle to articulate (partly because it makes me sound like a horrible needy co-dependent moron. Which I am, so hey).

Otherwise, if you detach emotionally from the situation, the BP will interpret your “calmness” and detachment as judgment or criticism. Additionally, they will likely consider you untrustworthy to validate their emotional states. What I mean by this is that if they are feeling so much emotional pain that they are dysregulated what they are really trying to do (regardless of the content what they say) is to communicate that pain to you. If they’re “dying in pain” and you’re detaching and calm, they feel they can’t come to you with the problem.

I do however balk slightly at people being labelled Bps and non-Bps. I am more than the sum of my symptoms.

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April 2016

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