Who am I????????
It’s a good question and one which I have spent a lot of time considering over the years. However, I have asked myself this more this week than at any other time.
I came to the conclusion that right now I have no idea who I am. I have never felt so far removed from myself ever. I feel so lost and misunderstood. Afraid and alone. Confused and frustrated. With trying to find some stability and to not feel so isolated perhaps I have done the complete opposite.
I am a mother first and foremost, yet it is something which I don’t handle well at times. My patience is none existent and I get irritated and agitated at the drop of a hat. I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility I have for three lives and the enormity of the challenge. Yet, I have been I parent for almost half my life and by all accounts I have good children. They drive me insane most days, but when other people meet them they tell me how delightful and well-behaved they are. So I am doing something right despite how I feel…right?
As a wife, this is the second thing in my life. Sex aside, my husband is my best friend, at least he used to be. We don’t really talk very much these days about anything of real importance. The magic, the spark has gone out and now we are just existing side by side. I know that he is a good man no matter how difficult he is about talking about my mental health or what we need to do in order for me to get better. I do think that this makes things much tougher but at the same time, we are also so close and the things he sees for himself I can tell he worries about me.
On thursday just gone my dad dropped my eldest home and popped in for a cuppa. General chitchat and inevitably my mum and siblings got brought up. Specifically my youngest sister. She had been up in London the previous sunday and had seen him, which I am happy about. BUT, knowing that she had to come within spitting distance of where I live in order to get home and didn’t bother, that just hurt. It always hurts. They don’t phone or anything and I feel completely rejected and abandoned by my mum and siblings. I am the ugly duckling, the black sheep…whatever it is I am just excluded again and again and again. No matter how hard I try not to let it bother me, it does. It kills me a little more every time something happens and I am left out.
I have not seen my mum or sister since March, my brother is currently overseas which I can forgive lack of contact…but the other two are less than 30 minutes down the road from me. They know I struggle with the phone, they could call me. But my mum wouldn’t want to upset my sister by talking to me, especially given that she is staying with her. It has been like this since I was about 13 and cam home from boarding school. We have miniscule moments of being like a family, but its all small talk, it’s catching up like you would with an acquaintance. It’s meaningless.
Anyway, when my dad was round talking about them, my husband kept glancing at me to see if I was ok. He looked worried because he knows that this is real, he’s seen it first hand and he knows how much it hurts. He was lovely with me and his concern was obvious. It made me feel for that moment like we still had us and that, right now, is a good feeling.
At this moment in time there really is nothing more about me…I am stuck. I am not going anywhere at all and it’s frustrating and I do get angry. I become agitated and pissed off with how pathetic I feel. I am more than a wife and a mother, but I can’t see who that person is right now, I have no idea where to even start. What I do know is that I have never wanted to runaway and escape ME more than I do right now. I have a plan, I know it will work. The only reason I haven’t done it is because it would cost money and then there is the severe damage it would cause to those whom I love with all my heart. But the urge is there and I have taken more overdoses in the past few weeks than I have admitted to anyone. The last one was on Wednesday night when I briefly closed down my Twitter account. A couple of friends know and were there for me which I am grateful for because the voices in my head were telling me to carry on popping the pills until I had none left. To those people, thank you.
There is also Lib….Being Lib helps me to find a voice, put words to the thoughts and feelings I have and is an attempt to make sense of things. Initially I really felt like this was helping and that I was getting some place. Perhaps in some small way I have. BUT last sunday/monday I was triggered again and actually the feelings inside me have been nothing but confused and mixed ever since.
Up until the 18th week of the STEPPS course I didn’t share very much about what had happened to me, specifically the abuse as a child or about the severity of my addiction to co-codamol. It was obvious I was not OK because my arms were covered in cuts which sometimes were fresh and would bleed everywhere. So they knew that something was up, that I wasn’t doing so well and there was concern about my safety.
I hate people worrying about me. No one really ever has. It makes me feel scared and vulnerable but it makes me feel like I have done a bad thing. The only time anyone really gave a shit about me was when I did something wrong or didn’t do something which I was meant to. People worrying about me because they care feels totally strange and something which I struggle to get my head around. Why do you/they care?
So, I reach the hard bit. The part that I am ashamed of, the part I don’t fully understand but which has hit me like a ton of bricks.
Lib has a voice, an outgoing, flirty, naughty one and another screaming out for love and understanding. She is me…but she isn’t at the same time.
I say that I was triggered on Sunday/Monday, but the truth is I have been triggered for about 2 years. It has gradually got worse and the way I feel about some things as got worse over time. Lib does what I used to do, make jokes about it. See things as being normal and rational. But inside this is not the case. Inside it destroys just a little bit more.
In real life I am very shy, I have no confidence at all. I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere, that I am just a burden to my friends and family. That there is little that I have to offer and that I should just hide myself away, not say anything and get on with things the best I can. I have done that for so many years, worn a mask to hide behind. I still do that. The mask is a part of me and to do anything on a daily basis that mask has to be on. But to be honest, I don’t really want to go out. I don’t want to have loud things around me, chaos…Sometimes I just crave for some peace…but I get peace more than I would like to admit, the problem is that the peace gives me too much time to think. I can’t concentrate so I can’t work right now, I deferred my place at uni for this year which has left me feeling even more useless and empty than ever. I feel like a complete failure and that I am not good enough to belong to anyone.
Then there is how Lib is. She tries to be fun, has a sense of humour and can see the lighter side of things even when it seems dark and endlessly lonely. Flirting is how I was when I was younger, it was a way to be around other people without showing my insane fear of men and women. Yes, I am scared of both men and women but for different reasons. Men scare me because they hurt me so badly. Women scare me because I trust them too easily and because the truth is I am not sure what it is that I am looking for.
Sex has become a major thing in my head. But the truth of it is that no matter who it is, I am scared. I don’t want anyone to touch me. I feel insecure and I can’t bear it. BUT Lib has run away with that and created this person who is up for anything and has sexted with more people than she should have. Done crazy stupid things which were in keeping with the fucked up kid from my teen years. The person who placed no value on her self. Was there to be used by anyone.
The ‘triggering’ event last weekend was to do with flirting and sexting. The only thing was that I knew someone who was sexting with this individual and it felt wrong. I was provocative, but I was utterly off my face on alcohol and pills. It’s not an excuse but deep inside I didn’t want to do anything really. I backed off but he kept going and he kept saying that because I lived near him I would be easier to meet and we could be fucking every weekend….I felt sick…I felt cheap and easy and revolted by how this person saw me. Just an easy lay. Not someone with scars and wounds, a person with feelings and emotions. He was everything I fear and dislike about men. Just an object. Someone to have his way with and to satisfy his sexual desire. BUT I AM NOT CHEAP.
It was this and further events during this last week that have made me question what I have been doing on Twitter, how I am seen by men and women and what exactly they think they are going to get from me. I like flirting, its fun, its tongue in cheek and the people who I have flirted with in the past I know are my friends and I feel safe with them because I know that they are aware of my background and that there is a limit.
BPD makes me very intense with my feelings and emotions which I struggle to control at the best of times. I realised on Thursday that it’s not that I want to be sexually desirable. I am married and have 3 kids, somewhere along the way I have been and sometimes still can be that person, with my husband. It’s about being socially desirable, people wanting to know me, being accepted for all my flaws and inadequacies. I have a brain and I know that I am not stupid, but I am also childish and naive to things. I don’t always see or understand things as a grown woman should and this is something which I try to hide to some degree. Sometimes I do it too well.
I think that deep inside, the love I am craving, the attention that I really want has nothing to do with sex whatsoever. Its much more simple, but for me so very, very hard to have. I just want to have a mother. I want to have a protective hug and love from a mother. Someone who I can talk to. Someone who understands me and encourages me. Someone who doesn’t make me feel that I am a disappointment and a let down. I do have a mother, but as my counsellor and I have touched on at the start of my counselling. I feel emotionally starved by my mother, abandoned and completely rejected. I am the weak link in my family and not worthy of belonging within it. So I created my own family for that love and affection. But, giving is not the same as receiving. I give more of myself away to others and their happiness than I take, because I was never really given. It feels wrong to take that kind of affection. I don’t know how to handle that kind of care and love, I have to turn it into a sexual thing because it’s the only way that I have truly known ‘love’.
This week I thought that I had lost a friend, a very dear friend whom I love very much. She has shown me more love and care than I have ever been shown by anyone in my life. She doesn’t even know me in real life yet she is always there with some words of wisdom and belief in me. She has made me feel that I am worth something more than sex, that I am not just a sexual being but far, far more. I still can’t see all that but I hope by reading this she will see that some of what she has said has finally gotten through. Vicky….thank you for not turning your back, for being the truest friend and for seeing me as so much more than what I have shown myself on twitter as being. You have helped me through some really dark times and given me the courage to face some big fears. If I could have a relationship with my mum, these things are what I crave for and you have given them generously. Thank you and I am sorry that I let you down.
So, who am I? I am a little girl, a teenager, an adult. I am the sum of all my experiences which I have not made sense of. I am stuck right now working out the equation at the top of this and I don’t know what the answer will be. What I do know is that I am fighting to work out things and the admission that I want love and affection from someone like a mother is exceptionally hard to write about. I feel I did something wrong and I don’t know what and that I am not worthy of a mother’s love. I have unwittingly been searching for this my entire life and have attached myself to people when they have cared about me. This is all I really want and I am scared of having to accept that it’s never going to happen.