A Perfect Storm

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder NPD) together is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Each personality disorder has unique, yet similar symptoms that only a psychiatrist can actually diagnose.

I see so many people on social media calling a friend or a spouse a narcissist, yet as I read the post I am not sure that is what they are. Narcissistic people tend to put a high value on themselves. They often feel superior to others and believe that they are somehow special.

Those with BPD have trouble attaching and having genuine relationships. They become easily angered and often have issues with suicide and self harm. Those issues do not show up in a narcissistic individual.

So, what happens if in a relationship one person has NPD and one has BPD. In my experience, the blame game starts. The accusations of not understanding, not having empathy, not being there for the other person, and overreacting. This seems to be a recipe for a toxic relationship whether as friends or spouses.

It seems like each party comes away from the interaction hurt in their own way. That one blames the other and the other may blame themselves.

As I am going through the inevitable ending of my marriage and have taken to the support groups, I find people using the terms loosely. To be labeled either is stigmatizing and once labeled, difficult to undo.

I wish that those who post about their spouses or ex’s just described their behavior without any psychiatric key word. The behavior no matter what is the issue at hand. That is what the problem is about. Putting a name to that behavior does not lesson or change it. In fact it could be inaccurate.

For me, I feel that both exist in my house at this time. I am not a doctor and do not know who has which or maybe both. What I do know is that there always seems to be a spark just below the surface that is in danger of being triggered. I can only pay attention to what I do and say to try to keep the situation from erupting.

Simone Biles: Everyone has a Breaking Point

Four years ago. Simone Biles stunned the world with her technique and artistry at the Olympics. Even those who did not know her name realized how special and unique she was to have the amount of talent that she had.

After a medal filled Olympics, she was pushed into the public eye with interviews that she consented to as well as becoming an individual who was no longer able to go about her daily life. Four years later, she is back in the National and World spotlight.

This Olympics has thrust her into the spotlight. Everywhere she turns she most likely hears her name. Even the camera is hyper focused on her and the commentators seem almost harder on her than the other gymnasts.

Everyone has a breaking point. Unfortunately, when an individual is in the public eye, they are under a microscope. Part of me feels that she came out with the wrap on her ankle to buy time. What to say? I have so much respect that she has come out and stated that she is to stressed. That it to much to have the “weight of the world” on her shoulders.

I am sure that she has the support of her teammates and coaches. That her family is helping her and supporting her through this. Mental illness affects everyone and she needs time to heal.

Mental Illness: The COVID Effect

For me, my struggle with mental illness began 30 years ago. At that time, those with mental illness were thought to be weak because they could not “just get over it”. I lost friends and family either from not understanding or just because I had spoken up about family secrets.

About 15 years ago, the word trauma entered my like. Events that at the time I thought were normal were explained to be a mode of abuse. Words like racing thoughts, hyper vigilante, DBT, and flashbacks were introduced to me. At least, I now had a name for my symptoms.

Trying to find a treatment provider who knows about severe trauma is difficult and time consuming. I spend months attempting to try to explain why I needed a trauma therapist and psychiatrist. How this illness can be misdiagnosed or misunderstood by someone who does not have experience.

Fast forward to last night. My phone alerted me. I was surprised to see the headline that companies are going to begin to expand mental health treatment due to COVID. I was so upset. Not leaving the house and not being able to see people for 18 months is now a mental health crisis. Why, it is a socially acceptable problem? Even suicides related to COVID are deemed worthy of attention.

Where were these companies over the past decades during which so many others that have a mental health diagnosis were struggling to keep their proverbial head above water? Why weren’t all of the people that were de institutionalized given proper care and access to medications?Instead many of them became homeless. The mentally ill became societies secret.

I have been told I should be empathetic toward people who have been affected by the quarantine. I just cannot find that in me when the same people called me crazy and a waste of space. Even the names of the illnesses have been changed to a socially acceptable label.

I feel like those of us who have been struggling for years have been cast aside. We still are going to fall through the cracks because our illnesses are not COVID related. What am I and others like me to do?

Lack of Treatment Providers

Trying to find a quality psychiatrist for trauma is almost impossible. Regular psychiatrists have been so overwhelmed by my diagnoses that many have turned me away before even seeing me.

Trauma is not just prescribing a pill to take everyday. There are no medications that specifically treat complex PTSD. Instead, the doctor has to know what background diagnoses and symptoms there are as well as know the patient.

During COVID, telehealth became a popular option and has continued even though people are going out and seeing friends again. The issue with telehealth is that the provider does not really “see” the entire person.

It is hard to see symptoms. Providers sometimes miss appointments and some do not remember who I even am. How is this adequate care?? How can someone hear me talk about impulses and then not even acknowledge them?? Why am I a write off?? The only treatment I am provided are pills that are not effective.

I am tired of hearing how hard it is to treat me and how there are not enough providers. Maybe it is time to begin to find solutions so that everyone regardless of insurance or distance can find quality care from a provider that gets to know and become familiar with their patients.

Gutted

When I was young girl, I could not connect to others. My parents rarely spoke to me, did not have friends, and barely spoke to each other. Silence was the accepted condition of the house and I learned how to be invisible.

In school, I felt like an alien in a sea of students who knew how to talk and laugh with their friends. I could not start a conversation with anyone because I did not know how too. I accepted the loneliness that came along with my awkwardness.

As an adult, I am on my second failing marriage. For the past years, I have lost communication with 2 out of 3 kids, my mother has disowned me, my family cannot relate to me, and I do not have any friends.

Having a history of trauma going back as long as I remember does not help the situation. How am I supposed to talk to anyone? People do not want to hear difficult experiences and that seems to be all I have to speak about.

I am trying to meet new people, yet nothing seems to be working. I just cannot carry on a conversation. I am living my entire childhood over with people leaving after only a short amount of time. The silence and loneliness are so difficult to deal with. Right now, I am trying to figure out what path I should take. Kept trying to make connections or just accept that I will be alone.

Working on Anger

NOT LETTING ANGER GET THE BEST OF ME

For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded my anger. My dad was mad at the world. Every drive included cursing and derogatory comments. Throwing things was also involved. I learned to express anger outwardly.

I have been working on how to dial down my anger. Nothing was working. Gauges, colors, a cooling image.

In the past few days I have been getting better at not going off on those around me. What has worked? Internal communication. It is not easy!!! Yet, I think about what those around me must see by playing it internally. So far, nothing has been worth getting angry about or even bringing up.

All of this is so new and I need to figure out the details, yet for me this is a big jump. That something may not even be worth the anger that I intend to express toward it. I will see how it goes!

9 Years Means Nothing

My husband and I were married 9 years ago. At the time, we had fun together traveling, going out to dinner, watching movies, and just having fun. He was amazing with my three kids. Taking them to the park and even playing dollhouse with my daughter.

Today, we barely say two words to each other all day. The calendar and Alexa communicate for us. He says that I basically was no good for him. I would go as far as to say that he feels like I ruined his life.

My days are spent in quiet solitude. At this point I am just having flashbacks to my childhood. My parents would not speak to me and I spent most of the time in my room reading, listening to music, and watching out the window just like when I was a kid.

Effects of Parental Alienation

My daughter will be 16 tomorrow. For years, I have thought what I would do for her on that special day. What would her sweet 16 birthday cake look like? What would she want to eat?

Six months ago she stopped communicating and visiting. Easter and Mother’s Day passed with a text, phone call, or reply. Silence. When I asked my ex if he would talk to her, maybe encourage communication, he stated that was up to her.

She has been told that I do not care about her. That I have not been there for her and so many other lies. Others like to say that as she gets older it will change. Somehow, I do not believe that. I believe that the monster named parental alienation has her lost and disconnected.

Social Security Expansion

The latest news is that Americans are pushing for Social Security benefits to be raised in order for those who are beneficiaries to meet the cost of living. I hope that it goes through.

Being disabled and on Social Security is a double hit on benefits. Being disabled means that a person can no longer find work due to the symptoms of an illness. Unlike, the senior example in the article in the Guardian those who are disabled are trying to pay for a medical supplement, medications, and doctors. With all of those extra expenses there is often no money left for basics like food, rent, and electric.

I hope that I can learn more about how to advocate for this. I will call representatives and write emails to make sure that our government is aware that people are falling through the cracks. If 1.9 million can be used to forgive student debt, why can’t more money be contributed to an entitlement program.

Maybe those one percent who have millions to live in after retirement need to contribute more? Things need to change.

Is this a Marriage??

July 4th. A day that families spend together in celebration. Parades, cook outs , and at the end of the day maybe a firework display. There is always laughing and talking. Maybe a little tension. Every family has some.

I am spending my day with my son and “husband.” My husband does not speak to me 95% of the time anymore. Even today, my son and I ate in one part of the house while he chose to eat in another. He has know my son since he was 4 and he is not treating him any better than he treats me.

It is a marriage on paper only. Enough so that he keeps his house and I stay on his health insurance. The problem is that with my health issues, stress exacerbates the symptoms. My stomach hurts constantly as well as I am always tired.

This living situation is almost unbearable. He at first said that he wanted to live like roommates. Even they speak to each other, not avoid one another day in and day out. Right now, I do not have the resources to change anything. I use a lot of journaling and art to make the day go by. I do not feel things are going to improve.