The Quiet Borderline: The Forgotten Ones
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I HATE WINTER! I hate it with a passion! It’s my least favourite season of all. I hate all the freezing to death, bundling up any time you want to go anywhere, the snowbanks, the ice, the wind chills, the blizzards, etc, etc. I’ve been stuck in the house all week long because of this stupid weather.
I’m in such a rut. I’m so out of shape, fatigued, depressed because I’m too out of shape to do anything. Just thinking about things gets me so overwhelmed. I’ve tried doing some different things to break out of this rut, and it’s not working. I hate hearing the wind howling at the windows all the time, especially when I’m trying to sleep. There’s another thing – sleep, what is that anyways? Something that eludes me as much as possible every night. Taunting me. I get so overwhelmed by everything that I have to lay down for half of the afternoon.
I wish it was Spring. Then at least I could enjoy going for a walk every day without freezing to death. Maybe instead of concentrating on walking as much as possible this year, I should concentrate on toning up. I’ve tried it a few times, but it’s just not working like it used to.
I’ve never been this out of shape in my entire life. Not even when I was nine months pregnant with my son, almost twelve years ago. I’m 5’2″ and I weigh about 195 lbs! I hate it so much!
I usually try to keep this blog as positive as possible but I’m not feeling very positive at the moment. I also try to keep it real. These are my thoughts and feelings for months now. I really needed to vent. Can anyone relate?
Only two-and-a-half weeks until my birthday, but that’s another post. Hope you had a good Christmas and that your winter is going better than mine,
Great video from Teresa Lynne of Essence Happens about avoiding unhealthy books and websites about BPD:
I’ve had a very difficult weekend with our daughter. She had a temper tantrum because I wouldn’t give her any money. She did her usual behaviours, which she hasn’t for a while. Things were getting better – so I thought. My nerves were very raw all day. I cried my eyes out that afternoon, and went for a quick walk. I didn’t feel a lot better but I felt slightly better later. I waited until I got tired enough that I could try going to sleep. The next day was my DBT skills group. I couldn’t wait to get out of here. I went for a walk with my husband and son earlier that evening. I’m so out of shape! I wish I wasn’t.
We’ve been having problems with her and money. She keeps asking for money. We give her some, then she asks for more. We have to figure out an allowance for her. We can’t really afford it. We’ve tried in the past to be fair, and it hasn’t worked. She always wants more, and used to throw a temper tantrum if we didn’t give it to her.
We’ve also had problems with her curfew. She called us at 11:00 pm last night to say that she was staying at her friend’s for the night. We’ve told her to call before then so that we don’t worry. Then we heard banging on the door at 1:00 this morning. It was her with a different friend. They went to her room, giggling and talking loudly for a few minutes, then her friend left and our daughter stayed in her room. Then I had to get our son up for school, who was grouchy as usual. He just made it to the bus, as usual.
Life is so exhausting!
Last Tuesday, I met with my counsellor and my mother-in-law to try to help her understand my BPD. We had a very good talk and I think she’s finally beginning to understand it a bit more. I tried to explain to her how she was unintentionally invalidating me constantly. She told me that she wasn’t saying anything bad to me. I explained to her that it doesn’t matter what she says or how she says it, that to someone with BPD, especially with me, it always feels like criticising and that I’m not good enough. She asked what she could do to make it better and I told her “nothing. Just do your own thing. You can’t make this go away. I’m the only one who can help me.” She got a look on her face like she finally “got it.” Also kind of sad for me.
My counsellor thought that I was very articulate, and told my mother-in-law that I’m doing everything I need to be doing to keep myself as well as I can be. I’m seeing both of them again this Tuesday. It’s good practice for me for running a group or presentation on BPD to educate people on the disorder. I’m learning more about myself every day.
I was so exhausted afterwards that I had to lay down for an hour. People don’t realize how exhausting it is for those of us with BPD just managing our emotions every day. It just comes to them naturally.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes Tuesday. Till then,
Having BPD is like having a tape recorder (yes, I’m dating myself) playing in your head 24/7, 365 days a year, every year of your life. It’s like a bunch of “voices” all at the same time constantly telling you that you’re not good enough. You can never pause it or stop it or turn the volume down on it. If you’re lucky, you can find a way to drown it out. Those ways are usually self-destructive.
If you get the proper diagnosis, you can learn DBT skills, and learn healthier ways to deal with these voices in your head. They can become a little quieter, but they may never be silenced.
The voices in my head get very overwhelming a lot of the time. I need to distract myself from them by putting on my headphones and blasting my music, until I can feel better. How soon I can feel better depends on many factors. My environment, people I’m with (family usually), how long the emotions have been building up.
My mother-in-law accused me of not thinking about supper until its time to eat. If only she knew what it’s like. You get so overwhelmed by your thoughts, you’re literally paralyzed by them, and can’t even think straight. I have a million thoughts in my head, all at the same time, from the moment I wake up, before I’m even out of bed, until bedtime.
If you’d like to read more about what a typical day is like for me, click here: https://makebpdstigmafree.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/a-typical-day-for-me/
Do you ever feel not listened to? I have ever since I was a kid. I’m always treated like a two-year-old by my husband and mother-in-law. I always feel like it’s amazing I’m alive today because I must be the stupidest person on Earth. Too dumb to live. Dumber than dirt. Like if it was raining outside, I’d been to dumb to come in out of the rain, and I’d catch pneumonia and die.
I need validation and understanding, especially from my mother-in-law. But she keeps doing the same things over and over, even though I’ve told her a million times that it makes me feel worse instead of better. I don’t need to be reminded of every little thing I need to do every minute of the day. I just get overwhelmed and paralyzed. My brain stops working logically. I have to distract myself to feel better. Then I’m not getting anything done around the house. Then I get told I’m not doing anything around here. If she would just listen to me, this vicious circle could be avoided. I guess she would rather be right than to have me do anything around here, or else she would stop.
All she sees is me sitting at the computer all day, every day. Or else I go to the peer support centre downtown for the morning and afternoon, to get a break from her. Which usually helps a little bit. Until I get home. Then I have to listen to it all over again. She doesn’t see what goes on in my head.
I dread getting up in the morning, knowing I’m gonna have to deal with my son and daughter, and my mother-in-law. I dread getting home from the peer support centre or my parents’ house, because I know it’s back to the same old thing, all over again. And she wonders why I feel so bad all the time, and why I can never get anything done around here.
She keeps saying that maybe I need a new therapist or a new medication. No, I just need her to LEAVE ME ALONE! If she’d do that, I’d feel a lot better.
Please see these posts:
I have been trying to explain my BPD to my mother-in-law for months. At first, she had no idea what I was talking about. But she gets a little bit more out of every conversation we have. It’s such a complex disorder to try to explain to someone who doesn’t have it. I believe they can only understand it to a point. They don’t have to live with it every day of their lives. They can only try to imagine what it must be like. At least with depression or Bipolar, you can feel better, with either time or medication or therapy or a combination of them, and the symptoms go away. With BPD, it never goes away. You can learn how to manage the symptoms, your emotions and behaviour, but it’s always going to be there, for the rest of your life. It’s absolutely exhausting! People expect too much of you. They think that, if only you’d try a little harder. They’re seeing things through their own eyes, not ours. They don’t have our brains. They think that, if you were trying as hard as you possibly can, you’d be handling things just like them, and you’d be doing so much better. They don’t realize that, you’re doing the best that you can. You’re never going to be like them. That doesn’t mean that you’re any worse than them. It just means that since your brain works differently, and they have to realize that.
When people expect too much of you, its extremely invalidating. What they need to do is validate us by saying “I don’t understand exactly how you feel, but I know that you’re doing the best you can.” This will make us feel validated and then we can get better, at our own pace. When they push us to do things that we are not capable of, that just makes us feel worse instead of better. With me, I feel very overwhelmed and paralyzed and I can’t think straight or do anything. Then they get upset with me for not doing anything, which makes me feel even worse. I feel so many things so intensely, all at the same time – anger, guilt, etc. “I’m not good enough.” I just goes into a vicious circle of negative emotions. Every time I try to explain it to my mother-in-law, she says “Oh, that must be awful!” And it is. Sure, sometimes it can be a good thing, but it’s also extremely difficult to live with.
What are your experiences with trying to explain your BPD to others? Have you had any success or not? If so, what do you find helpful? I’ve included some helpful links at the end of this post.
There is a chain of thoughts that occur every morning, as soon as I wake up, before my eyes even open and I’m fully awake and out of bed. It goes like this:
“I gotta get up. I gotta have a shower. I’m so tired! What am I gonna wear? I can’t fit into anything nice. Everything makes me look fat. If I could lose weight, I could fit into my clothes better. I eat right, I walk all the time, I shouldn’t be this fat. It’s not fair! They tell you to get exercise then you’ll lose weight, but I’m too tired to exercise. It doesn’t matter anyway. I walk all over the place and I never lose any weight. I’m too old anyway. My metabolism is so slow. I give up! I don’t have anything to wear. This is so depressing! I feel like just going back to bed, but I can’t. LIFE SUCKS!”
This is how I begin every day of my life. I’m sure many of you can relate to this post. Does deciding what to wear make you feel depressed? Or do you get angry, or does it actually not bother you? Tell us about it in the comments below.
I’ve always been amazed when people recognized me. I always thought that other people has such distinctive features and that I was so plain-looking that “How can they possibly recognize me?” I’m still amazed when they remember my name too. I don’t think I’m that memorable. Maybe it’s a low-self esteem thing. I think I’m so boring that, why would anyone want to bother to get to know me – remembering my name, my face, etc.? I’m nothing. I’m nobody.
Does anyone else experience this? Please comment below.
From BPD Central. This article describes the hallmarks of Borderline Personality Disorder, with some great examples to illustrate.
I experience major stress, just waiting for something bad to happen. It always does. Because of that, I become paralyzed and can hardly do anything. Then people get mad at me for not doing anything, which makes my stress even worse. I feel overwhelmed, misunderstood. I have thoughts and feelings of “I’m not good enough.” I feel extremely fatigued. Every time I try to do something, despite my fatigue, it never turns out right. Then I feel like “Why even bother?” And everyone wonders why I feel the way I do.
People offer “advice”. To me, it just feels like criticism, constantly. To me, I hear, “You’re not good enough. You should do it this way, my way, the right way. You never do anything right. Your things aren’t good enough.” My things get thrown out. They’re MY things. I needed my own little space where I could write. I didn’t even feel like I was allowed to have that, that I wasn’t worthy of it. And people wonder why I feel the way I do.
Every morning, I get stressed out trying to get my son up for school, because he won’t go to bed earlier at night. Of course, I get “advice” for that, which gets my day off to a horrible start. At least he doesn’t hit me for trying to get him up, like my daughter used to. Then I have to spend half the morning with my headphones on blasting music, trying to calm down and feel better. But then I’m not getting anything done, which makes me not feel any better.
Then of course, later, I hear from my mother-in-law, who lives with us, how “I thought I tidied up in here” meaning, hint hint, I didn’t clean up. And then she starts doing the dishes, with a heavy sigh, which I was going to do in my own way, in my own time, which is not good enough because “You should do them first thing and get them over with. That’s how I always do it.” In other words, my way isn’t good enough. I should do it her way, in her time. Which makes me feel guilty and terrible.
My mother-in-law usually does the cooking around here. She told me, “You never think about supper until suppertime.” Really? Can you read my mind? If so, you really suck at it! Because, from the moment I wake up, I think, “What should I make for supper tonight? I could make this, but nobody would eat it. My son is so fussy and I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to force kids to eat or else they’ll develop eating disorders. And I haven’t got the energy to make something that nobody’s going to eat, or make something separate for everybody. And what do I make that goes with this? Is this a balanced meal? I’ll think about it some more later. I’m getting really overwhelmed right now.” My husband got food poisoning years ago from a certain fast-food place, so he’s really paranoid about his meat not being cooked enough. I always try to make sure it’s well-done. We’ve eaten it like that for years, and everyone enjoys it.
I thought I’d make some sausage patties for supper one night. I made extra for the next day. I like to make my own breakfast sandwiches, but I usually don’t because I don’t feel up to it in the mornings. I thought all I have to do the next day is just warm them up. My mother-in-law thought, “Ew, nobody can eat these!” and threw them out. Sure, throw them out after all my hard work! No wonder I don’t usually cook around here. My cooking is garbage. I’m garbage. I’m not good enough. Nothing I ever do is good enough!
I try to get my son to bed at a reasonable time so he can get up in the morning, but he won’t. His dad gave up on even trying and just lets him stay up late. Then the next morning, my son raises his voice to me saying “I don’t have to get up yet!” Then his dad comes out of the bedroom, shouting “WHAT’S GOING ON?!”
On top of all this, I’m dealing with my dad just being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, and our teenaged daughter getting into trouble, which we’ve been dealing with for a few years, but has gotten worse since our house burned down last August and we lost pretty much everything.
Anyway, this is what a typical day is like for me. And every day, I get to do it all over again! Gee, I wonder why I feel the way I do? I LOVE MY LIFE! (Insert sarcasm here.)
They say that you can’t have Borderline Personality Disorder until you’re 18. Well, you know long before that that something is wrong with you – that you’re not like other kids, you’re different. You’re more sensitive than other kids. You have trouble managing your emotions. You have trouble “reading” people. You might always think that everyone is angry at you. It’s not something that you “grow out of”.
I always knew that something was wrong with me. Until I was diagnosed, I just thought, “I’m just stupid. I don’t know how to do anything right. I’m screwed up.” What a rotten way to grow up! No wonder people with BPD are so messed up! Wouldn’t you have low self-esteem thinking these thoughts constantly through your entire childhood, adolescence and even adulthood, depending on when you get diagnosed (if ever). Some people can go through decades of this. To put it simply, IT SUCKS!
So, what can we do about it? Educate people about BPD. Get rid of the STIGMA. Start helping teens before you have to try to undo years of pain and unhelpful thinking. It’s much easier to do it when they’re young that having to try to undo possibly decades of distorted thoughts. Wouldn’t you agree?
What are your thoughts and experiences on this? Please comment below. Thank you.
When someone with Borderline Personality Disorder experiences guilt, it’s like a chain of thoughts, each negative thought leading to the next. What looks like a minor thing to an onlooker from the outside makes perfect sense when viewed from the perspective of the BPD sufferer. These thoughts become so ingrained in the Borderline’s brain, that it’s extremely difficult to break these chains. One of the best ways to do this is through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT.
Many times, these guilty thoughts lead to other negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger or depression. A Quiet Borderline will usually take their negativity out on themselves, whereas other Borderlines will “act out”, raging over seemingly nothing. They can feel very defensive, like they’re being attacked, even with just minor constructive criticism, because they already have all of these guilty thoughts in their head all the time. When you make that comment, it’s like the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. I know for me, all these thoughts lead to the core belief of “I’m not good enough. I’ve never been good enough. I’ll never be good enough. Why do I even bother? What’s the point of even trying? It’s never gonna work out anyway. Nothing ever does. Nothing I ever do is good enough. I don’t look good enough. Everybody hates me. Nobody cares. Life sucks!”
In an upcoming post, I will explore the thought processes and emotions related to guilt in Borderlines through my own experiences. I hope this gives you an idea of where these “outbursts” come from, when they seem to come out of nowhere, so you can better understand us.