Category: On the borderline

Where have I been?

TRIGGER WARNING for mention of self-harm in one paragraph. The paragraph is flagged at the start and end so please skip past it if you need or want to.

It seems I do nothing but apologise for why I haven’t followed through on my planned and promised blog revamp and new posting schedule. I need to change this. Life is not going to change any time soon so I need to develop a way to still achieve my objectives within the current circumstances. After all this is some little work I can do to hopefully help readers, as well as being a way to help keep myself well. However, I don’t know how to do this. I feel as if I’m desperately and barely keeping on running, controlled by the barrage of difficulties, re-presented trauma, fear, anxiety, my sense of uselessness, unpredictable distressing events for people I love and for me; I don’t know where the next blow will come from and I know I’m closer and closer to loss of any control, emotional explosion, fragmenting psychologically, total physical exhaustion – but I must carry on because I have a duty and responsibility to those I love, to God, to those who care about me. Stopping isn’t allowed. Breaking isn’t an option. When is it okay to say I can’t do it anymore? I know my resilience to daily life is so very low, because of this barrage of trauma my husband and I seem to be trapped in.

I never want to say “why me?” and I know it must seem as if I’m whining like that. It’s not what I feel or mean. I went into this with my eyes open. I so much WANT to support my loved ones. I so much WANT to learn to love more, more selflessly, through what God is permitting us to suffer right now. I so much want NOT to be powerless, like a scared child in every situation. I want to choose good, loving, positive actions.

How?

I reached crisis point the week before last. My angry identity and my little child identity both got out at the same time in a violent emotional explosion and a long period of dissociation. ***Trigger warning for mention of self-harm actions ~~~I drank alcohol, took an overdose of prescription tablets, scratched and cut myself and threw and smashed things in the house. When I started to mentally freeze afterwards and then came through that “shut down”, I was terrified at the physical evidence of gruesome, violent emotion. I was terrified I had hurt my husband physically though he assured me I did not and did not try to. ~~~ End of trigger warning***

I am horrified and ashamed at what I said and did and what is inside me in these two out of control identities that burst out when I’m under stress. I have been utterly exhausted since. Chunks of my memory around that time have disappeared. It’s clearer and clearer I’m not coping with basic life.

I’ve not been able to make any sense from this post or bring it to a conclusion. It’s taken me days to get this far. I’m posting this just to write something, try to move on. It’s 1.15am and I’m in so much pain I can’t sleep. My brain is unable to shut down. Never felt such a mess.

Ginny xx

Weekly update: “I had a cunning plan…”

“I’ve got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel….” (Blackadder, in Blackadder Series 3, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton)

As ever, I had great plans for getting my revamped blog up and running, but things did not go accordingly. The week before last I was knocked flat by very painful endometriosis symptoms. Then last week was extremely busy with two wonderful occasions celebrating my goddaughter and godson’s First Holy Communions.

rosary

The travel involved meant that my chronic pain flared badly, though I am absolutely delighted and thankful we could go and celebrate with them. Their families have become dear friends. I realised I have known my goddaughter’s mum for 17 years. That’s incredible. Looking back it’s quite scary how the time has passed. I’m deeply thankful for her friendship and how she has made my husband and I part of her family, through so many ups and downs and so many times that I have not been able to be the friend I’d want to be and have not been easy to be around.

Here is some baking I did last week for tea with my godson’s family. It’s the first time I have baked since Christmas. It’s therapeutic for me as well as a good way to make a gift. These cakes and tea bread were all gluten free.

baking

Today, we got some more unexpected bad news about my husband’s health, including the fact he needs yet another surgery. A problem we had thought to be relatively minor could be or could become very serious. Coming as it does, clashing with what had been elation at his getting through his previous surgery, this is a shock for him. We are both somewhat stunned. I feel a certainty we can walk through this whatever it leads to, because we have each other, the sacrament of our marriage strengthening us, the unchanging love of God, and good and quick medical care here. I will say more in future posts but it’s another case of “thank goodness it was caught early”.

On the positive side, the doctors are still permitting us to go on our holiday to Greece next week. This will be a very important rest and please God, time of happiness, for my husband before he faces his next surgery. We are going to take things slowly in Greece and take plenty of time to appreciate the little beauties in each day. We will be by the sea for much of the time and I think that itself is healing, through God’s grace.

As you can see, this means I have not been able to do with my blog what I wanted to. I am sorry not to fulfil the schedule I had set out. I don’t want to let you down. I am going to postpone making any major changes until we come back from holiday and I can dedicate particular time each week to this blog. In the meantime I will update when I can and share some of the joy of our travels.

Ginny xxx

 

A question for bloggers, and the outline of my blog

A question for bloggers, and the outline of my blog

A special thank you to those of you who have commented on what posting schedule you’d like to see and those who have shown their support. Today I’m writing to update you on the new outline and posting schedule I’ve decided on; also to ask a question to other bloggers.

From your responses so far to my recent posts, it seems that topics you would particularly like me to write on are eating disorders and life with / after trauma and abuse. I will make these topics main categories on this blog. The main categories will be: PTSD (including life with and after abuse and other trauma); eating disorders and body image; borderline personality disorder and dissociative disorders; mental health and finances; mental health and work; living with physical health disabilities as well as mental health conditions; question time (writing in response to questions you and others have asked me – this will of course encompass a wide range of aspects of mental health conditions and cross over with other categories on this blog); in the future I want to add a “help” section where I will outline coping strategies that help me, mainly regarding PTSD for instance things you can do that may help during a flashback.

The posting schedule I’m going to start off with is one weekly journal-style post and one weekly post on one of the above topics. I may be able to increase this but I think this is a reasonable aim to begin with. As mentioned before I will post outside this schedule at times. I think I need to choose what days of the week I will make my two regular posts. I’m thinking Wednesdays and Saturdays but I may change this – I’ll let you know when I next write.

You will have noticed the change of name to Dignity Beyond Trauma and at the end of the week I will write a post explaining the new name.

I have upgraded my site plan so will be giving this site a new and hopefully more accessible look over the next few days.

Finally, I have a question for other bloggers. Do you use another form of social media as well as your blog, for example Instagram or Twitter? If so what benefits do you feel this brings to you and to your readers? What should one consider before linking your blog to another kind of social media? It’s something I’ve been considering doing; I am not going to attempt it right now as I need to focus on sorting this blog but I am interested in the future. I’d be very grateful to know how it worked out for you. Thank you in advance.

Ginny xxx

Going for it – currently making changes – thank you for your understanding

Going for it – currently making changes – thank you for your understanding

Okay. Deep breath.

It’s time to start upgrading this site. It means a great deal to me and I am nervous about doing it. At the same time I really want to make this site better for you, lovely readers, and more meaningful for me and others.

As part of this, I will be changing the name of the blog and changing the layout. I am sorry that in the short term this might make the site appear messy and confusing. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. As much as possible, I will try to explain changes as I make them, however at first this may be difficult and there may be some delay before I can write posts. Please bear with me.

As I’ve been looking over this blog in preparation, I have been astounded at how it has developed, albeit gradually. I had no idea that I had written over 300 posts! I’m so grateful to you for following me and for the interest, caring and compassion you have shown so far in your comments. Thank you.

Ginny xxx

What would you like to read in my revamped blog?

Some big changes are coming here at intothisbreakinglight, including a new name. See my previous post, Changes Ahead .

What would you like me to incorporate in my revamped blog? I want to help, as well as sharing my journey, so I’d love to know what you’d be interested to read.

Here are some elements I’m considering including:

– A specific section collating suggestions and resources for living with PTSD and complex trauma; what has and hasn’t helped me. I need to find out how to create this. Sifting through chronological posts is just not accessible for readers in my opinion, especially if the reader is exhausted or distressed.

– Similar specific sections regarding Borderline Personality Disorder and eating disorders / body image.

– A regular “question time” where I write a post in response to a reader’s question. Maybe once per month at first.

– A weekly journal-style entry to share what has been happening in my life and plans for the near future.

– A regular posting schedule. I don’t know yet what frequency I’ll choose. I will also post outside this schedule but I think it would be good to have a regular schedule I always stick to (even if I start with just one weekly journal and one other weekly post).

– I meet with medical students and researchers to share my experience of living with mental and physical health conditions. Loads of interesting questions get asked in these sessions. I think I may start writing some posts expanding on these questions (of course, not breaking any confidentiality).

These are just some of my plans. What do you think? Are they any good? What else would you like to see?

Ginny xxx

Changes ahead

Changes ahead

I’m going to make some big changes to this blog over the next week.

It has been many weeks since I’ve posted regularly. My husband has been coming through major surgery for cancer. Another family member has been through severe trauma. We have been struggling through a heavy load of financial issues since last autumn. My PTSD symptoms are worse. I’m not coping with day to day basics as I want and expect myself to. I could go on.

However a big reason I want to make changes in this blog is that my posts have been too sporadic and too distressed and distressing. I don’t want this site to be just me venting and screaming about how hurt I am. That doesn’t help anyone.

Yes, I want to be totally honest in what I post. Totally real. I don’t want to turn the blog into a falsely cheerful, superficially positive story. After all I’m talking about very present and painful trauma, illnesses and struggles. I am not going to pretend that I have all the answers or that I’m “over it” and nothing can touch me.

Yet I am more than the damage done to me and the hurt of every day. I want to try to find that. I want to write about that. I want to be thankful for all of me and all of every day. Also, I want to incorporate more focus on what helps me cope and even heal.

I want to have a regular posting schedule and more defined sections on this site so I can share what’s happening in my life week to week, but also share information about what helps me and may help readers, answer readers’ questions, post in response to reflection about what’s happened to me in the past, how I tried to cope and why. I want this blog to be helpful to readers, partly through reflecting what living with PTSD and borderline personality disorder is like, partly through sharing resources and information.

Big changes are coming up. Please watch this space! Thank you!

Ginny xxx

I want to make changes in this blog

I want to make changes in this blog

I want to make some changes to how I write this blog.

A lot of everyday life feels @&)!%*€ awful at the moment. My husband has cancer and is having major stomach surgery next month. He has 3 other operations due and that’s assuming there aren’t complications of the March surgery. It has been horrendous since November trying to sort out our state Benefits and just when it seemed it was sorted, I was told I had to have a reassessment of my disabilities for one of my Benefits and had to complete a 25 page form and send around another 20 pages of evidence in with it. I have a face to face assessment 9 days before my husband’s surgery. This brings with it the worry my Benefits will be stopped or reduced if they decide against me. My disabilities are all worse than when I was last assessed but you hear nothing but horror stories about Benefits assessments. Our money could get cut off whilst my husband is in ICU after the operation. We have other financial worries as well. We have had a whole series of let downs from people that should be helping us, including doctors and nurses and support workers. We’ve been brushed aside and labelled as worriers or nutcases because we have mental health problems – when in actuality my husband has multiple tumours in his body. When I have severely painful disc damage and degeneration in my spine. We have complex and deteriorating family relationships to work through and little support.

I could go on.

I want to scream. I don’t know if I’m crumbling or exploding but I feel I’m on the brink of going to pieces. I don’t know when I last slept through the night. The nasty angry dangerous version of me is getting out more and more as dissociation takes over. Right when I need to help my husband.

I need to make this blog different. I have become more and more sporadic in posting. When I’ve posted at all it has been sad and angry, as the result of an overflow of emotion or a need for an outlet of some kind. Having that “let out” is important but I don’t want it to be all this blog is. When I started writing I wanted to be able to express myself and also to be honest about what living through mental and physical health conditions is like. A lot of that is difficult, but there are good times and strengths too, and I want to reflect that. I want to reflect learning and gratitude too. I want to try to explore different aspects of my conditions and what helps. I want to post regularly, with more structure.

I need to make plans for how to change.

Ginny xxx

Waiting and feeling like a fraud

I had to come to hospital this afternoon for an urgent MRI scan. I’m in a room off A&E waiting for the results. The GP told me I had to come in because my back pain, numbness in my legs and incontinence have got rapidly worse than usual and he was concerned I may have nerve compression. I feel sure the scan will show nothing or at least nothing new. Waiting and waiting it’s getting worse. I feel a total fraud. I feel sure they will tell me nothing is wrong. That I’m crazy. That I’m stupid. That nothing is wrong and there’s no reason for the pain. I feel panic and sick and dizzy thinking of it. I want to go home. My mind is spiralling thinking how angry my GP will be an how my relative who has found out I’m here, who doesn’t believe I’m ill in the first place, will use this to show how “it’s all in my head”.

I feel like I’m such a fake.

I want to go home to bed.

I’m so tired of pain and tired of hospital. Everything I’m trying to do, which the pain clinic tells me is meant to help, is making the pain worse. Or it’s getting worse despite it.

My head aches and my stomach feels like something clawing it and twisting from the inside out.

I don’t want to bring only despair

I am sorry I have not written in many weeks.

I am shattered.

There seems to be no end to the pain and suffering my husband and others I care about are going through. No end to how many times we are brushed off or turned away by all those who should support us. My husband is seriously ill physically and mentally and we are utterly overwhelmed by what he is dealing with and the fear of what’s to come and the frustration of being passed from department to department in the hospital, ultimately left to cope alone.

It feels like fighting and screaming for help in a massive black hole I’m at the bottom of whilst the people I would have depended on stand way above me at the edge of the pit and sneer and laugh at me. And it’s so many times worse because I’m crying for people I love to be heard and helped and understood, not for me.

I’m exhausted. I’m in a huge amount of pain. I’m struggling to do more as I’m “supposed” to but the pain is worse and worse and I don’t know how much more I can take. Physically, so many small things are now really difficult. So many things I want to help my husband with, I’m physically unable to. I’ve been going through a very bad time with family realising how the abuse I suffered is actually not over and people whose behaviour I excused, actually perpetrated abuse; how control and manipulation is still happening in my family and hurting vulnerable people.

Worse still, family members refuse to hear me when I speak out about what’s happening, precisely because I’ve been abused – they use this to say that the problem is me and that I’m the one with a sick view of the world.

This negativity and exhaustion and despair is not what I want to bring to this blog. I want it to be honest but I don’t want to write time and again about hurt and loss. When I started this blog I wanted it to be about hope. Holding on to hope is very hard right now. Lots of days I can’t write at all. I desperately want to share good things and desperately need to be more thankful. When I’m so low all I can do is try to walk through the day and I have no words left.

I need to figure out what changes I can make to shape this blog differently; to still be honest but write more consistently and change the balance of what I post about.

Ginny xxx

Panic in BPD and dissociative episodes – spilling over and used up at the same time

My mind won’t stop. Yet at the same time I can’t process anything. There is constant clamour; panic and fear rolling round my head, gathering speed and swirling til there is nothing else in my head. I cannot hear properly. What I do hear is senseless, clanging, distressing sound with no words or meaning.

Remember a feeling can never be bigger than you, my psychologist said. But this feeling is. It’s boiling and spinning and pouring and rushing, and once it had taken every space in my mind it rushed outwards and spun round my head, like a hurricane or a tornado, slower but heavy, making a colourless, invisible, but impenetrable barrier between my mind, my eyes, my heart and the outside world.

I’m full but drained. In my heart it’s like only the dregs of me are left.

The panic has sucked everything out of me, draining away like water down the plug hole. Nothing is left but exhaustion, emptiness, and emotion that has no route to be expressed, so it just feeds back somehow into an explosion of pain and anxiety. The barrier round me gets stronger. Panic locks it tighter in place.

I need to cry and scream and I need to be silent. Silent inside and silent outside. I need to stop, so very much, but my mind is unable to stop spinning because of the panic force driving it on.

I need to be held, I need to be safe, I need everything that I have no right to in the adult world, because the only part of me left after this tide of fear is done with me is a screaming toddler, overwhelmed by the world. A little child who needs to be carried and protected. Adult me is lost in the panic, feeling forces she doesn’t understand, and little me comes out all alone.

***

Pain after pain, trauma after trauma, repetitions of past abuse, are all happening to people I love the most. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I feel so empty and I don’t know how to protect them. There is so much I need to give them and I can’t because the panic has emptied me already and that’s so selfish and stupid.

I’m exhausted and afraid of these exploding emotions that I don’t know how to control. I feel I’m barrelling on towards disaster. I feel failure. I feel the losses and longings and guilt and dread of terrified little me, alone after the abuse. Not knowing what to do or say when I see my loved ones suffer it too.

Xxx