Tag Archives: borderline

Musings on emotions

It feels like this huge, crushing weight (grief does).

It seems like I’m feeling it too intensely sometimes… 

For some reason, it struck me today that some people have “sensory processing disorders” around emotions rather than sights, sounds, or textures… 

The same way loud noises  (or lots of sources of noise) can be overwhelming to someone on the autism spectrum, “loud” emotions can be overwhelming to some people… 

What if that emotional overwhelm they try to always pigeonhole as “borderline” is really just an autistic glitch around emotions as opposed to one of the other senses? 

What if introducing trauma/abuse/neglect into the mix early-on intensifies the inability of a person to deal with this emotional sensory processing disorder? 

We’ve all heard the theories that borderline is better explained by c-ptsd (which I totally agree with). What if we took it one step further and explored the possibility that “borderline”was actually in part an autism-like disorder? 

If you consider that one “symptom” of borderline is “feeling too intensley”, and you understand that even trained clinicians minimize the difficulty of dealing with extremely intense emotions (as they’ve been trained to do; “know that emotions come & go, like waves”), it’s easy to see the disconnect in effective strategies for clients. It’s something along the lines of comparing a stubbed toe to a shattered foot. Sure, you can probably take over-the-counter Tylenol for the stubbed toe & it will likely help, but doing the same for the shattered foot probably won’t make a noticeable impact. For such an intense injury, you need prescription-strength stuff. We should have something more than “Tylenol” to offer people. 

What if we understand that pushing someone to sit with intense pain (physical or emotional)  will likely lead to various ways of procuring relief… so you take a kid who can’t handle loud noises, and you tell them they need to sit through a rock concert. You’re going to get a tantrum and various, inventive ways to deal with the pain from the noise (think stereotypical autistic behaviors like flapping, screaming, hitting self, or attacking others). Now take a kid who feels emotions incredibly intensely, and ask them to tolerate those emotions. You pretty much get the same acting out in search of relief: self injury, tantrums, physical and verbal outbursts…

I’m a huge proponent for dropping the borderline diagnosis from the dsm. It’s an antiquated and “cop-out” diagnosis with way too much stigma attached. While there’s a push to remove the stigma, it’s still very much taught to young clinicians. Professors and supervisors alike instill fear and disgust around the diagnosis. Myths are perpetuated. Doctors do the same. It’s quick to be diagnosed (often inaccurately), and it’s near impossible to step away from even if it’s found to be inaccurate. It follows you and colors every other interaction with every other professional that sees the dreaded diagnosis anywhere in the file…

What if, instead of just working to destigmatize the diagnosis, we came up with more accurate understandings, and got rid of it completely. It was, after all, just a catch-all category for people who didn’t quite fit any of the other categories… 

What are your thoughts on this? Does it kinda make sense? Am I way out in left field? 

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clueless

and confused/conflicted. I suddenly feel ok to try to work. I think I can do this without falling apart. I seem to be able to reign in my depression with more ease… The walls come quicker and higher these days. I don’t want to be useless and jobless. Though I know I struggle with going volunteering even twice a week, maybe if I had the benefit of a paycheck, I could pull it together more often.

On Friday I had told De about feeling useless on disability. It still feels like a death sentence. I know my energy comes in spurts, but maybe if I HAD to function for a job, I would just force myself into it. I have always been taught that you have to keep plugging on. There’s no sick days unless you are on your death bed. Lately, all I have are “sick days”. I want to be productive and useful and have a purpose… I want to have something to say when people ask me what I do. De said I might need to grieve that productive life. It was on the way out, and I didn’t really get what she meant. The more I think of it though, the more I think I disagree on that point. If I grieve being productive and the life I had before, it feels too much like I’m giving up and will never get out of this space. I just need to keep looking at it like a stepping stone. (It’s funny that I say this all the while the little voice in my head is telling me not to worry because life won’t be that long anyway… I think only people who have battled depression and suicidal thinking can truly understand that little voice – even when things are going well, that nagging thought plays on repeat in the background. I used to think of it as an escape plan in case things got/stayed really bad. These days, it’s at once something I laugh at and something I desire with every fiber of my being. Once the little voice gets louder, it’s difficult to drown it out. Then I just have to wait it out, it has to sleep sometime).

I see De again tomorrow. I think on top of everything else I want to address (asking more about the art therapy possibilities, talking about the disability stuff, touching on my fears about the past coming to life again with this relationship, feeling overwhelmed by a lot of stuff…), I need to address the crazy mood changes and the background suicidal thinking. I can coast along just fine when distracted, but the minute the distractions stop, everything comes crashing back.

I don’t know what exactly to say. My head is all over the place even now, and I can’t hold a train of thought. I still can’t see a definite future for myself. There are things I want to accomplish, but when asked where I see myself in 5 years, the tears are triggered and my head answers: dead. The cycles are maddening. If my head will still be battling all this in 5 years, I sure-as-hell don’t want to be around for it… I love my life, but not my head. Does that make sense?


Simple Steps to Save A Borderline from Suicide

Simple Steps to Save A Borderline from Suicide.

I kinda like this in a dark comedy kind of way… I resent that I was ever diagnosed bpd, and I wholly resent the way I was treated by several clinicians & psychiatrists because of the diagnosis, but she puts it well… and I guess I can see myself in the diagnosis the way she describes it (some of it… the abuse history, the fear of abandonment, the preoccupation with death as a means of escape, the self injury, the lack of identity…)