The curse of having BPD, emotions can turn on a dime. Ever since I arrived in New York I had been calm and serene. I went a week without even thinking about any sort of self harm. Last night I attempted to attend an NA meeting for the first time since I got here. When I arrived at the location I had listed there wasn’t a soul to be found. Neither my friend that drove me or I possess a phone that has internet capabilities so we had no way of confirming the address. Instantly my mood turned dark and when we got back to the house I locked myself in my room. I dug into the hidden compartment in the lining of my suitcase and pulled out Stanley, my favorite box cutter. Six new cuts on the inside of my thighs.
I chose the thighs, because I am not sure how my friend or her son would react to seeing fresh cuts on my arms. My friend has a long history of self harm which she seems to have under control. I am not sure how observant they are either, so I don’t know if they would den notice. I hate cutting my legs, it doesn’t give me the release I need and it ends up stinging like a motherfucker when I use Veet to remove the leg hair.
After three months of being homeless and alternating between sofas, motels, and sleeping on the streets, I accepted defeat and accepted the offer of a plane ticket and a room from some old friends. I made it to the east coast safely. For the time being I am staying with a friend in Binghamton NY. She does not have internet service and the closest wifi hotspot is over four miles away. My postings are likely to be sporadic at best, but I will post when I am able.
Unfucking believable. My flight leaves in twenty-one hours and the people at my destination are giving me shit.
My friend that I am staying with texted me and said she will never see me as Allison and that she will always view me as my former male self in a wig.
My mother called me and informed me that my chances of finding employment would be much greater if I transitioned back into being a male.
This is the kind of shit that made me move 2600 miles away in the first place, the judgment, the better than thou attitude, the absolute ignorance to anything outside of their personal bubble. Now they are throwing it in my face the day before I leave. I can’t handle this bullshit. I had abstained for four days. Now I have six fresh cuts, one for every insulting and demeaning thing these fucking people said to me.
This sounds like my story. I was first diagnosed with BPD in 1989 when I attempted suicide during basic training in the US Navy. I was never told about it, what it meant, or how to deal with it. It was just a line in my discharge paperwork. I walked around with this illness for the next twenty-five years leaving a path of destruction that would make Godzilla envious. In May of 2014 I attempted suicide again and was again diagnosed with BPD. It was then that they finally decided to do something about it.
I find there is a disturbing conspiracy of silence among some mental health professionals about the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with a number of clinicians reluctant to tell their patients of the diagnosis.
There are countless stories within BPD communities where patients have been diagnosed for ten years but only recently found out their diagnosis by accident. Imagine having cancer and never being told meanwhile the cancer spreads, gets worse and you have no idea why you are experiencing the symptoms or how to get relief from them. Imagine the betrayal you would feel when you find out you’d been lied to.
Knowledge is power, right? So why are some clinicians so resistant?
Is it because they are trying to avoid a diagnosis with so many stigmas associated with it and in turn avoid the patient being treated poorly? Chances are if an unwell BPD patient presents to…
Tomorrow I board an airplane and leave California, the place I have called home for the last 16 years. I have very mixed emotions about this. I am not leaving on my own terms, I am leaving because with the hand that life has dealt me I have no other choice. I am fortunate and grateful that there are people in the world who care enough to step up and help a person in need.
I am grateful for the opportunity to start over. The last three months have been the most challenging in my life. We don’t think about it, but we can loose everything we cherish in a heartbeat. I never imagined that I would wind up homeless. I’m sure most people believe it can’t happen to them.
To be totally honest, the last year and a half to two years or so have been a rough ride. If someone wrote a movie about the chaos that has happened in my life no one would find it plausible. As my addiction and mental illness deepened I caused a lot of destruction and hurt a lot of people. I know that words can never make up for my behavior, but I am truly sorry for the hurt I have caused. I am especially sorry for hurting the children that used to be a part of my life.
For my California friends, thank you for sticking with me and being my friend. I will miss you all. I have spent a third of my life here and it has seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. I have learned and grown a lot. It took me until I was 45 years old, but I learned to finally like myself.
To my New York family and friends, I am happy to be near you all again. I have changed a lot in the last 16 years, both physically and spiritually. I hope that you will be as accepting of me as my California friends have been. I realize that some of the changes I have been through are difficult to understand, but I assure you that I would not be here today if I had not made them. While my situation is certainly not ideal, I’d rather have the rest of the world hate me than have me hating me.
I like the thought and spirit behind this series, but unfortunately the first thing that I thought of looking forward to was that I can buy a new package of blades tomorrow. I don’t think what they had in mind. I know I am not looking forward to getting to New York Sunday morning and having my family and friends see my arms.
Whilst reading about the tragic death of the great Robin Williams I repeatedly stumbled upon the narrative of choice. Places like Psychcentral spoke about suicide being an “insidious choice”, but a “choice” nonetheless, so much so that they repeated the word to drive the message home. Meanwhile, whilst perusing social media I repeatedly came across variations of “people who commit suicide are selfish”, “how can anyone do that to their family?”. These sorts of comments make me twitchy. We’ve all heard them before.
In my own case they were personalised and weaponised, “How could YOU do that to your children? Do YOU not care about them?” I did, that was the problem. For some time I had felt like a millstone around the necks of my family. I loved them, but hated myself and could only see the ways I made their lives worse. After 2 failed suicide attempts in…