News for the ‘Year in Review’ Category

A Look Back – January 2012 to December 2012

The past twelve months have seen an overall improvement in the quality of my life. Things have not been ‘perfect’, but I did not expect or even want them to be perfect.

I have seen a decrease in the severity, frequency and duration of my episodes this year. I also have seen a drastic reduction in acts of self-harm and suicidal ideation.

My wife, my therapist and my wife’s therapist have all noticed the improvement. Even more importantly, I have noticed the difference, and I noticed it before anyone else noticed.

I am back to where I was before the accident in 2009. I may even be in a better place then I was in 2009. For example, I have only seen my therapist twice since before Halloween.

Despite the lengthy periods between sessions, going roughly 3 – 4 weeks between them, I have navigated the time with little difficulty. The part I really appreciate is that the period included the holidays and some stressful  times at work. I figure if I can manage those periods without seeing my therapist or placing any crisis calls to her, I have to be on the right track.

A few highlights from the year were attending the NEA-BPD conference in May, celebrating my first anniversary with my wife, my fortieth birthday, seeing Les Misérables with my wife at the National Theater, celebrating Christmas with my family and another good year at work.

There were plenty more good times, but I cannot name them all.

There are a number of people who have been a big help to me this past year, even if they didn’t know it. I want to take a moment to thank a few of the people, that have helped me and/or inspired me these last few months. In no particular and in no way a complete list:

Note: I will update this list with more about each person over the next few days. I wanted to get this post published sooner rather than later and right now it is getting late and I need sleep. 🙂

My wife, lord knows she has to live with me and put up with me day to day. That is not always an easy thing to do.

My father, @retiredfirstsgt, he has been there for me no matter how out of control I have been for the last 40 years.

Amanda @hopeforbpd; http://www.hopeforbpd.com ; My Dialectical Life. Your MDL emails & positive, encouraging personality have made all the difference in the world and have really helped turn more than a few days around.

Debbie @healingfrombpd; http://www.healingfrombpd.org

My friends in the facebook support groups I am lucky to be a member of.

Merri Lisa Johnson; @borderlinephd; http://borderlinephd.blogspot.com; I loved your talk at the conference in May. It was amazing and inspiring.

The Knotwel Family

Cooper Hawke @cooperhawke

Sophie @oxymoronic82

Debbie and Merri Lisa Johnson have both published books about their life’s with BPD. They are must reads.

You can find the books here:

Edited: December 26th, 2012

Trigger Warning: A Look Back at 2008 (written: December 21, 2008)

Note: This was originally written in December 2008 as a look back at the events of that year.

Trigger Warning: Since this was originally written in 2008, I cannot say with certainity if there are any triggers or not in this post. As 2008 was a difficult year, I assume that there may be one or more triggers. Please read with caution.

Well, with only a few days left in the year it is once again that time of year. It is the time of year to look back on the last year and reflect on the highs and lows. As a whole for me, this past year as simply and totally sucked. It has been the worst year that I ever remember in my entire life. The majority of it racked with pain and heartache it seems.

The start of the year set the tone for the rest of the year. Starting with Brenda hating me from the start because of how the year before ended. I remember at that point feeling my life was worthless and that I was some horrid human being that did not deserve to live. Brenda had been such a big part of my life for the previous four months or so. After what seemed a lifetime of arguing, we finally patched things up, things would last a few more months though they were never the same as before. It seemed she had taken so much back from me until she took everything away from me in May, more about that later though.

Not long after that one of the thing I never wanted to happen did happen – I earned “v”’s rage. I had never wanted to do anything to upset her or hurt her, only wanting her to have good and happy memories of our short time together from the previous year. I remember that night so well. I remember how fully she expressed her rage. It seemed like she was out for blood, to destroy me. The ironic thing is that nothing she said or did hurt me in of it even though that night was devastating to me. It was not her anger or her words that hurt, that I was prepared for because I knew one day that I would experience it for one reason or another. What made that night so devastating was that I knew I deserved it and brought it upon myself. I knew that her hatred and disgust were justified. The fact that I deserved it is what made it hurt so much.

It was knowing I had failed her, something I swore I would never do. Even now when I think about it, I want to cry and beg her to forgive me. I could not defend myself that night; I had no way to defend myself, because there was no excuse for what I had done. Any ‘defense’ would have been nothing but trying to justify something that could never be justified.

The upside of it though was hearing about her happy news, knowing that she had found the right person to share her life with, knowing that she would be safe now. I always feared that she would never forgive me and that even if she did I would never know it since I never expected to hear from her again.

Over the next few months, I would try to re-earn Brenda’s trust and love, but I never did. No matter what I did, she never loved me or trusted me again. I did everything I could think of to re-earn that trust and love, but it came to nothing good in the end. Even so, we still had some good and happy times during that period. After a while she started back away from me slowly, she would only be around for short periods. I remember the long nights sitting here at the computer hoping to get even a few moments with her. I remember how if even saw her just a minute that it made me feel so much better. Then in May, she left me.

Her rage was terrible. For long nights, her and I went back and forth in email, my trying to calm her and soothe her through her rage. No matter what she said, I tried to stay calm and let her rage against me. I hoped that she would get it out of her system so we could work things out. I say her letting her rage, trying to show her love, compassion and understanding. I remember that night when she told me that she hoped I choked, that I would have a flat tire in the morning. Each of her words added another cut to me. I never expected such hate from her.

Some place between these events, I found out that I was bi-polar amongst other things. I remember that it excited me and actually made me very happy. I was finally able to get on medication to help myself. I found myself a good psychiatrist and got myself on a mood stabilizer, Lamictal.

Some time along the way, I thought I found someone new, but a series of things worked against us. The biggest problem was I was not able to get over Brenda. I still wanted her back. Part of it was how I felt about her; part of it too was that I had no say in how things ended. Those things ended for no good reason in my eyes. I was not even close for things to end. The reason that this was so different from when things had ended with “v” the year before, it was that in that case I knew why things ended. They had to end for a very specific reason. A reason that as much as it hurt left me at peace in my heart and soul that I knew it was what was right. When things with Brenda ended, I had no such thing.

In July, I went to Pennsylvania for vacation, to see the Dalai Lama. He was giving a series of lecture on the path to enlightenment. I was never able to get into it because I was wracked with pain and heartache. I started having panic attacks and spiraling out of control. I felt totally lost and abandoned by the world. There was nothing to look toward because at this same time Brenda totally vanished on me. I remember how disappointed I was in her. The time I needed her the most she left me. This intense pain lasted for what seems forever, it lasted for nearly three months.

During this time, I started calling around looking for treatment centers. I had decided that I was going to check into a mental health center, because of how far gone I was. There was a day when I laid in bed until 5p just crying all day, I had to call out of work I was so bad. There were times when I cycled so rapidly through my emotions.

At one point during all this turmoil, “v” came back and started talking to me. This time she was there as a dear and precious friend. As a person who understood what I was going through and who believed in me to get through this. I remember her telling me, the first night she came back that she believed that I could get through this and that I could be stronger the next year. When she said that I damn near cried, those words were words I needed to hear desperately. Once again, she was shining spot in my life. Funny how things work out like that, the year before she tells me how important my support was to her. This year I understand more than ever the truth of that statement. I cannot explain how much her believing in me to overcome things meant to me and how much it helped me.

All this time my anger at Brenda swelled and swelled. The more I felt she was not who I thought she had been, etc. Then one day, she showed me that she was indeed the person I thought her to be all along. She sent me a few messages that I tried to ignore at first, not wanting to get into yet another fight with her. Then she sent me one more message telling me how sorry she was. When I read that message, i knew the truth behind her words.

We started talking again as friends and repairing the damage that had come between us. She and I being able to work through these things, put them in the past, and put away our anger helped me a good deal as well. I could finally close that wound that was still so wide. I was able to find part of what I had lost of myself once more. With each passing day, I started to respect her more and more than I had the previous months, to believe my original view of which she is as a person slowly returning.

On my birthday, I crashed again. None of my friends remembered my birthday. I felt like such a ghost, as if I was wandering through life unseen etc. That night Brenda actually listened to me cry and did not tell me to ‘get over it.’ She did exactly what I had expected from her all along. She listened and comforted me, tried to help me through it.

For about another month or so my depression continued. Then finally, one day it broke. I got put on an anti-depressant and have not looked back. I have moments that have hurt, but nothing that has caused any true hurt or lasting negativity. I have started entering the community, talking to people at the local bar, spending time in social settings, coping with things that do not go my way and just overall being happy.

During all this I started talking with Debra, more then I had the last year or two. Sitting and talking with her on the phone ever now and again. We have had some good laughs and we continue to be good and close friends. A few weeks ago, she got married.

Then not so long ago I sent Liz flowers and admitted to myself and to her how I felt about her. I have not heard from her since then, but I am coping well with that. It kills me that I may have lost her as a friend, but I did what I needed to do for my own well-being. I think part of it is that I may have scared her earlier in the year because when I was going through all that heartache I would sometimes email or text her in the middle of an episode. She once told me that when I sent her messages like that, that she did not know how to react or what to say. I think it has just all overwhelmed her.

Then there was last week. The week was golden for me. I had my labor category changed from Programmer to Senior Programmer, got a great raise and got an award from my company for my performance. Then on Friday, my divorce was finalized ending one chapter in my life and officially starting the next unwritten chapter. It is funny how that chapter ended at the end of the worst year in my life. The New Year is upon us and I am starting a fresh chapter in my life all in once.

I think that about sums up the year.

Edited: December 21st, 2008

Trigger Warning: A Look Back Dec 2006 – Dec 2007 (Written on: January 1, 2008)

Note: This was originally written in January 2008 and was a recap of the prior 13 months from December 2006 to December 2007.

Trigger Warning: This was written at the end of a very chaotic year. There are several disturbing images and triggers within this entry.

Well I for one am thrilled that 2007 is finally over. It was a year of incredible highs and lows for me. It was a year where a lot of changes took place in my life, a year of growth, a year of joy and a year of pain. The high points of 2007 were amazingly high, the low points were devastatingly and dangerously low.

So what happened to make this such an eventful year? *sigh*…where to start..well guess let’s take it from the top. This first thing actually was at the end of 2006, but was so close to the start of 2007 and had a huge impact on the year for me that it needs to be mentioned here. At the end of 2006, after 5.5 years of marriage and 3years of engagement I told my soon to be ex-wife that she needed to leave and drove her down to SC to stay with a friend. This decision had both positive and negative implications for me this past year. On the positive side, it put an end to a great deal of stress and aggravation for me. It also gave me a chance to pursue the  D/s (Domination/submission) lifestyle in real life. I had long considered it an “interest” for me, but within the last 18 months or so I came to realize that it is much more than that for me. That it is what I need, it is who and what I am. On the negative side, the pending divorce has caused me some stress bickering with my ex-wife over the settlement since I feel her demands are quite excessive. It also has left me quite alone at home, most of the time this isnt too big an issue but some days..*smh*..some days its devastating for me, reducing me to tears.

Starting at roughly the same time and continuing into early 2007, I renewed a sexual relationship with someone I knew for many years. Once again, I allowed myself to get way to wrapped up in her and got myself into a world of pain. She was in the same place I was, getting divorced from her husband. She had two little girls and sexual interests that lined up well with mine. At first it was supposed to be devoid of emotions and feelings for each other. Unfortunately, as always I let feelings come forth, and as usual she did not reciprocate. I did everything I could to show her how I felt. That I wanted to be with her and that even though the girls weren’t mine and she could not have any with met that it didn’t matter to me that I would love them as much as if they had been from her and I. During Christmas ’06, I drove down to see her, took a Christmas tree,decorations for the tree, presents for her, champagne, decorated the bed with faux flower petals that read out merry Christmas etc. I went all out for the holiday. When I saw the look on her face I wanted to cry I was so hurt. It was as if it meant nothing to her at all. After that it was all but over. I think I saw her maybe once or twice more in 2007, up until the end of Jan. before it was over totally.

For months I did what I could to help support her and her girls. I was giving her 200-300$ every two weeks usually. Putting it right in her bank account so she could help pay her bills since she was going to school to be a Physical Therapist Assistant and was only working a few hours a week as a result. Given her track record I should have known better than to trust her. She had already used me 2x in the past. Once for sex the second time to make her husband jealous since he knew of our past.  We tried to keep in touch as friends but that fell apart toward the middle of the year. At that point she tried to tell me I OWED her money. Owed her money because I said I would cover a certain bill, but she dragged her feet giving me the totals and doing what I asked and the bill ran up even more. By this time her and I had already broken off our relationship. She had said she felt I only helped her because she was sleeping with me and I felt that she was only sleeping with me because I gave her money. Beyond that she had totally disrespected me in so many ways and it was more than I was willing to deal with so it was over.

After this fiasco I met someone in The Pork that I was very fond of to say the least.  She lived locally to me and I thought that there was a good chance at something rt. This never manifested itself of course. The time we had together was enjoyable but short lived. She was getting ready to move overseas to further her career while in the middle of one assignment that took up most of her time. I saw her a little here and there and then suddenly she vanished. To this day I still have not heard anything from her. I have sent her a few random emails to see how she is and what she is up to but have not heard back.

While she was away I met “v”. “v” I could write many volumes on. There is so much to say about her and the time that we had. Her and I met while I was waiting for the one to come back and became instant friends who had a strong attraction to each other.  We quickly began talking about a future together one day but there were a number of things that needed to be overcome first. Out of respect for her privacy I will not go into the details. Sadly ,the relationship was short lived even though neither of us wanted it to end. There were a variety of reasons that caused it to end, but though it caused a great deal of pain, it was what needed to happen in her best interests. She was one of the highest highs and lowest lows of the year. The time we had together was amazing, the loss of her was amazingly painful.

<I have deleted several paragraphs for privacy reasons>

Now sometime around September or so, my life got devastatingly hard. I don’t know what brought it about for sure, I think it was a combination of all the loss from 2007, the divorce, a lot of hours at work and God knows what else. Since that time though I have been at times borderline suicidal. Feeling that death was the only escape from the pain that ripped at my heart and soul. I spent many hours just curled up crying. At times I would lay there and cry for up to 2hrs just wracked completely by pain. Feeling that I was alone against the world and had nothing to live for, saw no reason to fight, felt I had been fighting my whole life and that it was time to just give up the fight. The pain and sorrow that I have felt is beyond words. I can not properly put them into any words at all. A few years back I wrote a dark poem that does not even begin to show this new pain, but I include it here anyway:Trapped in ones own mind alone and confused,
dark thoughts filling every moment,
spiraling into a deeper and darker sadness.

Dark Questions needing to be answered,
darker answers whispering themselves to you.
Pain and heartache everywhere.

a raging storm deep in my heart and soul
dark waves crashing all around
deafening thunderclaps shaking the ground
streaks of lightening , the only light around,
brightening the blackness to noontime light

at times I long for the days when the pain was only to that level…

also on the loss front  I have lost three important people to me at work this year…my tech lead (Dinesh), my deputy project manager (Denise) and my best friend at the office (lizzie liz). I cried over each of them leaving as all of them were highly valued by me. Dinesh was amazing to me, she believed in me from day one, before I had even proven myself to her. She believed in my even when I didn’t believe in myself. I learned alot from her in the two years we worked together. I miss her guidance, her thoughts and advice so much, even now writing this I am tearing up. Then there was liz..this one devastated me. I cried for 2hrs the night before she was leaving the office. Liz is another truly remarkable person. Just by her walking by you forget your worries and have to smile. It is almost impossible to be depressed around her. I know I have tried to be. She has a geninue concern for people and does not judge you for your beliefs or interests.  I cried to her a number of times over people. She was the only one in the office to truly care and listen. The others I tried to talk to made joke or told me I should change or that I wasn’t good enough to be seen with for one reason or another. Her friendship has come to mean so much to me, losing her from the office has been very hard indeed.

On the upside of things, I got an excellence award in September for my work . I cant tell you how nice that was. From the first day I started at my company I was determined to get one. I finally did after almost three full years of hard work. I also got a chance to get out to NM to meet my ke’chara. Ke’chara has been my best friend now for the last few years and it was so nice to get to meet her finally. I even got to hang out with her husband one day and he showed me how to fire a gun. *G*..that was oddly enough FUN!… also got to meet her two daughters and watch them play softball. It was a good time for sure for me.

Another major thing that happened this year, that one that was using me for money earlier this year, by her own admission, was kicked out of my life once more. Well actually this time it was by her choice. I told her of a hard situation that I was about to face and that she had to choose, to either be my friend and love me unconditionally as such or to leave. The answer she gave me infuriated me especially since it was “well I need to think about it so this isn’t an answer yet” bullshit things…Being an unconditional friend is not something you should need to think about..so I told her that as far as I was concerned she made her decision and to get the fuck lost.

As far as physically, I have gotten myself two tattoos, an earring and grown my hair out to about shoulder length and wear it in a ponytail most of the time now. I also almost always dress in head to toe black outside of work and hardly own anything else then all black.

Let’s hope that ’08 will be much better.

Edited: January 1st, 2008

Meta

Recent Posts

Categories

Subscribe to Rising Phoenix

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 818 other subscribers

RSS News from NEA-BPD

Archives

News Items

Links

%d bloggers like this: