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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Severe depression  (Read 3379 times)
LonelyChild
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« on: June 04, 2016, 01:32:36 AM »

Some of you know my story. Those of you who don't may check through my post history. I've been without my uBPDxgf for over a year now. She's currently in a psych ward (again). She calls now and then, but I feel my boundaries are strong, I've detached from her and don't really feel much of anything for her. It's up to her to manager her life now.

As it is up to me to manage mine. I have now been SEVERELY depressed for the past year. I'm not giving her the blame here - I was depressed before I met her as well. She was my first real love/real romantic relationship. Before her, I had this fantasy of finding happiness in life through love. It obviously failed miserably. Now, after her, I've come to realize that love is not going to change anything for me either, and I've become more depressed than ever. I manage my life - I study full time and work part time, work out 5-7 times a week, go bicycling and much more. From someone else's point of view, I look really successful. And I am. I have super good economy, an apartment that I own that is absolutely top-notch - everyone is amazed at how beautiful my home is. This fall I'm going overseas for 4-5 months, studying artifical intelligence. So what's missing?

I. Don't. Know.

This is the problem. I feel NOTHING. I feel nothing when going up to strangers and talking to them. I feel nothing when making new acquaintances. There's NOTHING that I want to do with my life. I do not appreciate ANYTHING whatsoever. Some days - when I have the time - I stay in and just cry for hours. This feeling of emptiness is so painful. Nothing fills me with any sense of meaningfulness whatsoever. I've tried some medication without success - I just became really tired and wanted to sleep all the time. I've been seeing the best P ever for over a year. But nothing is changing. I know everything about my depression - both in the sense that I understand the chemistry and that I can relate it to my childhood. It doesn't help at all.

I've tried dating. The only feeling I get is that people are pretty much both emotionally and intellectually retarded. Call it projection all you want. It might even be - I don't know. I have an IQ of 146 - I have no idea if that comes into play here. I quickly become attached nonetheless because anything is better than this constant emptiness, but then I quickly lose interest because I don't really find any good match and what keeps me from feeling the emptiness is really just a slight infatuation, which obviously is not going to solve anything in the long run.

Oh. There are actually two things I long for.

1. To die and finally end this suffering.

2. To get a new life, with a new, safe childhood and two loving parents. Mine were nuts (lots and lots of physical and verbal abuse).

Can you relate? What do I do?
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Leonis
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 01:45:53 AM »

I can relate to the lack of motivation and feeling generally uninterested about many things except those I absolutely need to get done.

I would be careful the feelings of emptiness, though. That is definitely not something you'd want to carry around. I say that because that's something my ex had talked about on occasions. About how empty she felt. About how she felt numb, and just wanted to end her life when the time comes.

My parents, well just the mom, was mostly verbally and emotionally abusive (I didn't mind the physical part of it because the emotional definitely hurt me more).

I've tried to put my emotions under control by emphasizing on the logical side of things; similar to the Vulcans or Contractors (don't worry about the references). It's probably not healthy in the long run, but I want to do all I can before I head into a therapist. In which case, maybe you should consider the same before doing anything extreme.
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 02:07:04 AM »

Are you safe right now LC?

I can relate to feelings of loneliness. I'm within ten points of you (on the low side). I'm a compulsive reader, about 100 books per year, though granted not all of them quality. My Ex never understood my need to deflate by reading for even half an hour each night after we got the kids down, for instance. My T said that we were a bad match in so many ways (Bowen is turning over in his grave). She was boring intellectually. I feel like a jerk for admitting that. That was one of our problems (though it's an advantage now in co parenting).

Have you thought about exploring your FOO on Coping and Healing? It might help to dig deep into root cause. The fact that you may feel isolated due to a high IQ is one thing, but the underlying emotions may be harder to nail down. BPD relationships can be especially hard on more analytical types.
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 02:18:20 AM »

Are you safe right now LC?

I can relate to feelings of loneliness. I'm within ten points of you (on the low side). I'm a compulsive reader, about 100 books per year, though granted not all of them quality. My Ex never understood my need to deflate by reading for even half an hour each night after we got the kids down, for instance. My T said that we were a bad match in so many ways (Bowen is turning over in his grave). She was boring intellectually. I feel like a jerk for admitting that. That was one of our problems (though it's an advantage now in co parenting).

Have you thought about exploring your FOO on Coping and Healing? It might help to dig deep into root cause. The fact that you may feel isolated due to a high IQ is one thing, but the underlying emotions may be harder to nail down. BPD relationships can be especially hard on more analytical types.

I'm safe - it's not like I'm going to kill myself anytime soon. I really do WANT to die - or rather not be alive because it's painful. Some days it's really really bad, to the point where it's excruciatingly painful. Most days, it's just a nagging feeling of emptiness and loneliness. Everything feels unreal.

Infatuation is a break from this. I always fantasize about having someone with me who loves me and sits next to me. I realize that this is not a realistic fantasy and that it would never work out well if I don't feel good by myself anyway. But this is literally the only thing in life that gives me a break from this numbness. Except for intellectual stimuli. That comes with another issue though; I've read and studied so much I barely feel the need to talk to people anymore because they literally have nothing to tell me. Except perhaps a few who at least are able to tell their story, which is always unique and interesting. But I also feel that all my studying gets in the way of my social life. I do not know a single person who've read and studied as much as I have in real life, so that brings even more loneliness into my life. Ironically. So the only real option is infatuation, which ends in extreme anxiety, fear of rejection and separation and basically ego death for me, which gets me to near-suicide states of depression and anxiety. Hopeless.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 07:35:35 AM »

Hello LC, hearing you describing how you feel was like listening to myself. I have an unbearably deep dark loneliness inside me and I can't seem to move it. Truly it's always been there, I know this but have carried on living and looking happy, sometimes I was happy, but that inner black hole was still there. It's like I live my life outside. I watch other people, see happiness, sadness, all their emotions but I don't belong in their lives, their happiness, their anything really, always on the outside looking in. I think that's why this relationship with my BPD man gave me something I thought was impossible. I felt I belonged in something I had only ever been a spectator to. Before I was rubbished and trashed into the ground. If asked about dying my aunt used to say, "i'm not fussed" I've had a good life and watched my children grow and my grandchildren born. Then when she had to have her heart stopped and restarted she suddenly decided she was "fussed" and she's never said it again since then. Trouble is, I am really "not fussed" . Got past the "do it myself stage I think, but really am not bothered either way. I mentioned it to a friend once and she was horrified, but I'm not, I don't care. Like you I am a successful female, an engineer in a still male orientated career. I have a lovely car and go abroad for holidays, someone looking in would say how could I not be content and happy. Dunno, but am as empty as a black hole. I wish that the short and beautiful time I belonged had never happened and am lonelier than ever. I am sorry I am not being much help but after reading your post,I just wondered,  is that how you feel too, always on the outside looking in? Xx
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 09:54:08 AM »

is that how you feel too, always on the outside looking in? Xx

Yes, I relate to every single letter in your post. Always on the outside looking in s a perfect description. When I go bicycling, sometimes just casually through town, I am amazed by all the handsome, happy people everywhere. They seem to *belong*. They seem to both feel and know who they are, where they belong, they know how to share their moment-of-now with someone else and enjoy all of this. Reality does not feel much more real than some dreams. Infatuation gives me a sense of being real, but only for a short while.

Like you, I've always felt this emptiness. Except for when I was with my uBPDxgf. I turned "normal" when I was with her. I felt, heard, smelled and saw. Despite the hell she put me through. And now she is gone. By necessity, and she can no longer give me that feeling anyway.

Everything else is absolute and endless emptiness.

Do you watch movies? I can't. I might as well stare at a blank wall.

I talk to strangers a lot because it makes the environment seem more real and gives a little bit of stimuli.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 10:40:58 AM »

LonelyChild, you are breaking my heart. This is no way to live. Please tell us--are you seeing a therapist? If so, do you feel he/she is capable of understanding you? Because I hear that you feel isolated not just emotionally but intellectually.

Infatuation gives me a sense of being real, but only for a short while.

[... .]

I talk to strangers a lot because it makes the environment seem more real and gives a little bit of stimuli.

These insights go a long way. You aren't stuck on blame, and you understand that your failed relationship is not a cause but an epiphenomenon. The word "emptiness" is a big clue. I associate it strongly with attachment problems. Now you need to go deep with an excellent, empathetic therapist. That's my 2 cents.
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 05:13:14 PM »

LonelyChild, you are breaking my heart. This is no way to live. Please tell us--are you seeing a therapist? If so, do you feel he/she is capable of understanding you? Because I hear that you feel isolated not just emotionally but intellectually.

Infatuation gives me a sense of being real, but only for a short while.

[... .]

I talk to strangers a lot because it makes the environment seem more real and gives a little bit of stimuli.

These insights go a long way. You aren't stuck on blame, and you understand that your failed relationship is not a cause but an epiphenomenon. The word "emptiness" is a big clue. I associate it strongly with attachment problems. Now you need to go deep with an excellent, empathetic therapist. That's my 2 cents.

Yes I am seeing a fantastic T. He is very competent and with over 30 years of experience. But he is also confused why I am not making progress in therapy.

This is definitely related to attachment problems. I just don't know how to fix it. :-(
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 05:37:43 PM »

I've been in and out of therapy for 25 years. I'm good at talking, even good at talking about my feelings. I would say therapy was helpful over the years, got me out of some bad depressions, but I never felt much hope for the long term. Then last year, when the failure of this relationship ripped me apart, I started seeing a new therapist. I remember the feeling of desperation and surrender. Oddly, that's the best word for it: surrender. I was hurting so bad. I'd thought of myself as a very "good" therapy patient--someone who dug for insights and was very honest with myself. I thought I'd dug deep, but it hadn't been enough.

Can I read you something from the report they prepared after doing a bunch of psychological tests (ink blots and stuff)?

"... .Another way you manage feelings is to double down on strengths. You have an impressive intellect and the ability to empathically read other people. While these skills have served you well in your life to help you look at the bright side of things, find the silver lining, or comprehend situations that might seem unbearable to you, they may also sometimes get in the way of letting out how you really feel and standing up for how you really feel. Sometimes it takes the form of too easily taking other people's perspectives into account and forgetting about your own needs and point of view. Other times it leads to getting lost in "insights" and intellectualizations that further distance you from your feelings, sterilizing them."

In other words, the over-reliance on strengths, like intellect and empathy, had been slowing my progress in therapy.

Does any of this ring true?

I submit that you feel numb because you are working so hard to distance yourself from your feelings. Something about those feelings is dangerous to you.
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 02:50:41 AM »

I've been in and out of therapy for 25 years. I'm good at talking, even good at talking about my feelings. I would say therapy was helpful over the years, got me out of some bad depressions, but I never felt much hope for the long term. Then last year, when the failure of this relationship ripped me apart, I started seeing a new therapist. I remember the feeling of desperation and surrender. Oddly, that's the best word for it: surrender. I was hurting so bad. I'd thought of myself as a very "good" therapy patient--someone who dug for insights and was very honest with myself. I thought I'd dug deep, but it hadn't been enough.

Can I read you something from the report they prepared after doing a bunch of psychological tests (ink blots and stuff)?

"... .Another way you manage feelings is to double down on strengths. You have an impressive intellect and the ability to empathically read other people. While these skills have served you well in your life to help you look at the bright side of things, find the silver lining, or comprehend situations that might seem unbearable to you, they may also sometimes get in the way of letting out how you really feel and standing up for how you really feel. Sometimes it takes the form of too easily taking other people's perspectives into account and forgetting about your own needs and point of view. Other times it leads to getting lost in "insights" and intellectualizations that further distance you from your feelings, sterilizing them."

In other words, the over-reliance on strengths, like intellect and empathy, had been slowing my progress in therapy.

Does any of this ring true?

I submit that you feel numb because you are working so hard to distance yourself from your feelings. Something about those feelings is dangerous to you.

Yes, all of it rings true. As you, I'm a "good" patient, digging deep, willingly.

Also as you, I use my intellect as a defense.

There just doesn't seem to be a real "me" beneath the defences. Just emptiness.
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 01:46:28 AM »

Can anyone help? I don't know how to survive this.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 08:36:29 AM »

LonelyChild, can you say more about what's going on right now? Are you having thoughts of suicide? Please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are.

Please.

Also, read this:

www.thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2010/01/on-suicide-by-jennifer-michael-hecht.html

Either way, please tell us what's going through your mind. Speak to us.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 09:19:40 AM »

Always on the outside looking in s a perfect description.

As you have probably read, the emptiness inside ourselves can only be filled by us.  I chose to quote the above because you are also on the outside looking in at your own emptiness.  It seems like you have detached from yourself, looking in at yourself thinking is there any end to the darkness.  You stand outside because you are afraid of getting lost in the emptiness within yourself ... .it is safer out here looking in.    As long as you continue to observe yourself from the outside the darkness, that emptiness inside will never be filled.   To fill the emptiness you have to reengage with yourself, bring your own substance in to fill the void.  Fantasy has no substance and therefore the emptiness remains. 

So given your ex temporarily provided some emotional substance to at least partially fill the emptiness, how do you think you might be able to do the same for yourself?
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 10:20:51 AM »

LonelyChild, can you say more about what's going on right now? Are you having thoughts of suicide? Please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are.

Please.

Also, read this:

www.thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2010/01/on-suicide-by-jennifer-michael-hecht.html

Either way, please tell us what's going through your mind. Speak to us.

Right now: Came home from work. Sitting on the couch, crying. I slept two hours last night. The pain is unbearable. Emptiness.

I have thoughts of suicide 24/7. I am just too afraid to do it.

I see a P many times every week. He has over 30 years of experience. He doesn't understand why I am not making progress. I've been seeing him for over a year now.

I tried medication for a while. Not much changed. I would still sit and stare into empty space for hours. The only difference was that it actually felt ok to do so. Not much change for the better, that is.
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LonelyChild
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 10:55:18 AM »

Always on the outside looking in s a perfect description.

As you have probably read, the emptiness inside ourselves can only be filled by us.  I chose to quote the above because you are also on the outside looking in at your own emptiness.  It seems like you have detached from yourself, looking in at yourself thinking is there any end to the darkness.  You stand outside because you are afraid of getting lost in the emptiness within yourself ... .it is safer out here looking in.    As long as you continue to observe yourself from the outside the darkness, that emptiness inside will never be filled.   To fill the emptiness you have to reengage with yourself, bring your own substance in to fill the void.  Fantasy has no substance and therefore the emptiness remains. 

So given your ex temporarily provided some emotional substance to at least partially fill the emptiness, how do you think you might be able to do the same for yourself?

If it can only be filled by ourselves, why is it so easy to fill it with someone else, and so impossible to do by ourselves?

Yes, I am almost entirely detached. Nothing feels real anymore. I am as much a stranger to myself as anyone else I see. I'm not sure about the getting lost part. I already feel lost. I barely know what's real anymore, after two hours of sleep last night because of constant anxiety.

I understand your words, but I have no idea how to actually reengage with myself. I go to the gym, I go to school, I go to work. I talk to people a lot. I try to give myself some caring (not love because I can't - don't know how) in the form of making nice food for myself. I go bicycling in nature. Yesterday, I took my camera with me to take pictures just to relax. I come up with interesting projects to keep busy. I cannot feel ANYTHING but emptiness. Except there's some girl interested in me. That is the ONLY thing that makes me feel worth ANYTHING. And they all lose interest. Probably because I am just an intelligent shell. I once described pwBPD as a hollow shell controlled by an AI. Maybe I was talking about myself.

I honestly have NO idea how to fill the emptiness myself. NO clue whatsoever. Trust me, I would if I could. My life is nothing but pain.
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2016, 11:11:55 AM »

LC (and Sadly for that matter), I could have written exactly what you have (well, except for the reading part, I hate to read!). I've had over 40 years of of darkness, just waiting to die. When I met my uBPDexgf all that changed. Life became worth living. I had a purpose, a future, and was necessary to someone. Of course, all of that was an illusion that left once her fears were triggered. I was left just as empty as before, but now with a longing to experience joy again.

I had been through therapy many times. Each time I was left feeling that dishonest and like I was "playing with" my therapist. They would ask questions, and I would answer their questions. The problem was that I would answer exactly what they asked. Because I'm an intellectual, this meant that all my answers were the "right answers." On the surface, it appeared that I should be excelling. Inside, I was sinking further into my own abyss.

I spent many years disliking other people because I had little to nothing in common with them. I, like you LC, would associate with them for as long as they could keep me entertained with their stories. There never was any real substance there. But, my x gave me a magical gift: she allowed me to experience joy. I long for that joy to return, so I'm working hard at looking at the reasons that I never learned to feel joy. I'm looking at my youth and learning about the things that I should have learned when I was three or four years old. I'm working on not always providing the "right answer," but rather the honest answer.

Last week, my t asked me if I thought that everyone deserved to live? Well, of course, the answer to that is "yes, everyone deserves the chance to live." But, that isn't what she was actually asking me. What she was asking was whether or not I thought that I should live. That is a completely different answer.

I'm also learning to draw from the strength that has kept me alive for 45 years. I'm using the same types of tools that I've used to survive to propel myself into a better place. The same strength that I have to disconnect from myself and my world is now starting to be used to focus on myself, my needs, my wants, and my desires. Switching my focus seems to be key for me.

My point with all of this is:

1. You're not alone.

2. There is hope if you want to find it.

3. You are a survivor, that means that you're stronger than you probably give yourself credit for.

4. I wonder if you are intellectualizing the therapy rather than working on the emotions?

Take care of yourself LC. We are here if you need us!
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2016, 11:35:49 AM »

LC, it's so unfair when you are doing all the "right" things and not getting better. My only thought is that there may be a therapeutic framework that works better for you than that which your current therapist (or is this a psychiatrist?) is trained in (however experienced and competent they are). For instance, there is the Internal Family Systems approach, which is supposed to be particularly successful  for trauma survivors. You can read about it here:

https://www.selfleadership.org/about-internal-family-systems.html

I didn't find it helpful, but I think it's like with medications: people respond to different therapies and combinations of therapies, and sometimes its trial and error.

I thought of IFS because it takes as a given that we have a whole family of voices inside us, and some of them can take on healing roles for the other parts that are in trouble. This is one way of "filling the void" yourself instead of looking for fulfillment from other people.

What do you think about casting your net a little wider? Since your therapist seems to be at a loss, maybe he/she will have ideas about other resources. An IFS trauma survivors group might be a good adjunct to individual therapy.
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2016, 11:42:28 AM »

You need to force yourself to get out and be around people... .get in a group, join a club, take up a hobby, take a class... .do something new. Do not focus on a partner.
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2016, 12:05:32 PM »

My point with all of this is:

1. You're not alone.

2. There is hope if you want to find it.

3. You are a survivor, that means that you're stronger than you probably give yourself credit for.

4. I wonder if you are intellectualizing the therapy rather than working on the emotions?

Take care of yourself LC. We are here if you need us!

As with pwBPD, there seems to be no sunshine stories for us - the anti-BPD-people, or whatever you want to call us. The opposing piece of the puzzle.

1. Thank you.

2. Have you found it? Why would I want to live another 15 years like this? I'm 29 now.

3. I'm strong in the sense that I am productive, have good economy, seem successful etc. I'm weak in the sense that I cannot take the slightest hint of rejection without falling into deep, deep depression.

4. Yes, I definitely am. No idea how to stop.
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2016, 12:06:43 PM »

LC, it's so unfair when you are doing all the "right" things and not getting better. My only thought is that there may be a therapeutic framework that works better for you than that which your current therapist (or is this a psychiatrist?) is trained in (however experienced and competent they are). For instance, there is the Internal Family Systems approach, which is supposed to be particularly successful  for trauma survivors. You can read about it here:

https://www.selfleadership.org/about-internal-family-systems.html

I didn't find it helpful, but I think it's like with medications: people respond to different therapies and combinations of therapies, and sometimes its trial and error.

I thought of IFS because it takes as a given that we have a whole family of voices inside us, and some of them can take on healing roles for the other parts that are in trouble. This is one way of "filling the void" yourself instead of looking for fulfillment from other people.

What do you think about casting your net a little wider? Since your therapist seems to be at a loss, maybe he/she will have ideas about other resources. An IFS trauma survivors group might be a good adjunct to individual therapy.

Thank you, I'll look into it.

You need to force yourself to get out and be around people... .get in a group, join a club, take up a hobby, take a class... .do something new. Do not focus on a partner.

This is not very helpful. I point out many times through this thread that I am around people ALL the time. The problem is that I feel nothing but emptiness.
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« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2016, 12:27:32 PM »

As with pwBPD, there seems to be no sunshine stories for us - the anti-BPD-people, or whatever you want to call us. The opposing piece of the puzzle.

1. Thank you.

2. Have you found it? Why would I want to live another 15 years like this? I'm 29 now.

3. I'm strong in the sense that I am productive, have good economy, seem successful etc. I'm weak in the sense that I cannot take the slightest hint of rejection without falling into deep, deep depression.

4. Yes, I definitely am. No idea how to stop.

I call us "nons."

2. Yes, I have found hope. As I said, I look to the joy and love that I felt when with my pwBPD and realize that I can actually feel joy and love. This means that there is hope. Since I have felt it once, I know that I can feel it again. I just need to learn how.

3. No, you are strong in that you have endured for 29 years. You have survived what your life has thrown at you, in what seems to very painful spades, and still wake up each day. You are strong in that continue to face the pain, emptiness, sadness, and madness each and every day of your life. Weaker people have given in, hidden behind alcohol and other chemicals, and committed any other sort of escapism to live in a place of denial. You are stronger though and are choosing face it rather than avoid it. I know that it's probably very hard to do right now, but you should take pride in your strength and courage LC.

Succumbing to the depression associated with rejection and abandonment does not make you weak btw. It happens to every person on the planet. Those of us with deep abandonment and rejection scars just have a harder time with it because they reopen old wounds and we must heal from the old as well as the new each time. Or so I understand at least.

4. I intellectualized my therapy because it was easier than facing the pain. I learned some years ago that change only occurs when the pain of where we are at surpasses the fear of where we might be going. For many years I had survived, and thus become accustom to the pain that I endured. I even learned to whole-sale dismiss it and completely stopped feeling. Then the x came into my life and all that changed. I felt again. Thus, the pain returned. That pain greatly outweighed the fear of facing my inner demons. Why do you intellectualize?

I also agree that saying, "ya just gotta get out there" doesn't really work for all of us. My t told me that and I just looked at her. It was akin to "suck it up Cupcake!" Uh, yeah, if I could, I would. Then she tried CBT with me. All that did was create shame and reopen old wounds. Not all therapy is right for all people. Finding what works for you is paramount for recovery.
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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2016, 12:47:22 PM »

If it can only be filled by ourselves, why is it so easy to fill it with someone else, and so impossible to do by ourselves?

Because it doesn't require us to look inside ourselves or do any work.  The most difficult thing we do in life is look inward and much of our lives is spent finding ways to avoid doing that.

I honestly have NO idea how to fill the emptiness myself. NO clue whatsoever. Trust me, I would if I could. My life is nothing but pain.

As long as you continue to believe this then nothing will change.  Find something that gives your life purpose and direction (just like your ex gave you purpose and direction).  Going through the motions isn't going to do it.  Everything you listed are things you have to do and things you do to distract yourself.  You are empty because you believe you are.  I know it is easier said than done but half the battle is believing you can.  I believe you can do it!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2016, 01:14:15 PM »

Oh LonelyChild- my heart breaks for you. I like so many others who have posted on your thread, relate so deeply to your feelings. I think that unfortunately, even though your P has 30 years of experience and you like him, it's just not working for you. That doen't mean that nothing will.

I too am in the process of working through the FOO issues. It's so hard when the emptiness is all you have ever known. Other people, when they have a period of depression, just want to return to "being themselves again". That isn't something people like us can relate to, if these feelings are all we have ever known.

I understand what you are saying about nothing feeling real, looking in from the outside. That's depersonalization or dissociation. I didn't know there was a name for it until my T called me on it and put concentrated effort into keeping me in my body, not my head. It's starting to work. Maybe if your current P isn't helping you with this, you can try someone else? Yours might be very experienced, and very good, but you really need just the right fit, someone who will get you out of your head.

There is hope. I know it feels like life has been so long and such an exhausting struggle. I hear you. But at 29, there could be so many good years ahead for you. So many good things. Let's get you there.

I understand the intellectualizing part- I have a 152 IQ and I tend to do the same thing. I lived feeling like you describe until two years ago when I finally had a real breakdown at 46 and went to a T. He said he couldn't accomplish anything with me other than simple day to day skills until I was on medication which would make it possible to access whats under there without me deflecting and "spinning", throwing replies at him, going all philisopical and talking in examples from other peoples perspectives, not being able to access my own.

Can you relate to any of this?

I hear you about the medication and sitting on the couch staring into space. Been there. But it takes a lot of fine tuning to find something that will work for you. Something to pull you out of the depths, soften the constant sickening punch of anxiety. What I finally ended up on isn't even an anti-depressant. It's an epilepsy drug. But it's helping enough that I am starting to make some progress. And I don't feel the emptiness and the being on the outside looking in anymore. At least not often, and when it starts I can fight it off better. Please keep trying!

You must be feeling so exhausted. All that anxiety and depression and then even worse the constant analyzing of it just saps your strength. And if you aren't sleeping, it's 100 times worse. You really need to get stabilized by whatever method necessary. Your P needs to understand how desperate you are feeling. Please tell him the whole unvarnished truth. If he doesn't take quick action please go to the hospital.

There is hope. Please don't give up.  
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2016, 03:46:17 PM »

HEY LC

So sorry about your depression!  I've never had your degree of depression, but, I've had a few significant bouts for a few months at a time.  I've come to an understanding that I tend to have SAD (Winter Depression), even though I live in the sunny US state of California.  Thankfully, using light therapy and taking some meds in Fall and Winter has helped.  I can identify with the anxiety-type depression and anxiety issues in general.

Just wondering.  You indicate you aren't able to watch a movie.  Do you have any insight as to why you can't?  Is it that you just can't sit still and concentrate on it? 

Are you able to have a good laugh about anything?  Sometimes, people can get some benefit from laughing after watching something comedic.  (if not movies, then short YouTube videos, stand up comics, etc.).  Sometime, laughing can change your chemistry for awhile.

Have you tried any form of meditation?  TM, guided meditation, mindful meditation, etc.  It can be tough to do when you are very anxious, but can be something to phase into (starting at a few minutes at a time).  I know when I stop meditating and restart, it takes awhile to tame my mind and it can take a couple of weeks to really get into it and feel some benefit.

One idea would be to just set up a dating profile on whatever website you use and seek some women to share some activities with - some sport, hiking, photography, etc.  Don't try to connect romantically.  It might be best to state that you aren't looking for a romantic connection right now.  Just tailor your profile to indicate you are looking for someone to share some fun activities with.  Maybe take up a new hobby and explore it with someone new.  If you need an intellectual match, then maybe advertise for that.

Some people are gaining some benefits from use of Ketamine.  It is mentioned in a couple of the links below.  The info. in the links below might not be new to you, but thought I'd post them in case you might want to check them out.

www.nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/03/what-its-like-to-treat-severe-depression-with-a-hallucinogenic-drug.html

www.psychcentral.com/lib/depression-new-medications-on-the-horizon/

www.webmd.com/depression/guide/treatment-resistant-depression-what-is-treatment-resistant-depression
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« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2016, 06:16:01 AM »

2. To get a new life, with a new, safe childhood and two loving parents. Mine were nuts (lots and lots of physical and verbal abuse).

LC,

I am so sorry this happened to you. It is heartbreaking. I can understand your feelings and have myself felt empty and like I was just going through the motions of living. It felt like I wasn't even here; like I was some kind of machine or automaton. Things have gotten so much better for me, and I believe they can for you, too.

You mentioned feeling nothing, but also that your life "is nothing but pain." You also mentioned that any hint of rejection sends you into a deep depression. So, it sounds like you are actually experiencing more than just "nothing." There are feelings that move through you sometimes, even if a lot of the time you feel empty, right?

When we can't or don't want to feel things (e.g. we have experienced trauma), we can become numb and extremely dissociated from our selves, especially our bodies and sense of being present in the physical world. Have you and your therapist touched on this?

Sometimes simply registering and feeling sensations in the body (putting your hand on the top of your leg, listening and feeling the breath coming in and going out, feeling the sensation of your feet touching the floor) can bring us back to the present moment and to the feeling of being connected to something. The point is to really investigate the sensations, the feeling, the experience—it takes focus and time, and sounds simplistic, but with practice it can really help.

How are you feeling today, LonelyChild? 

heartandwhole
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
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« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2016, 09:24:07 AM »

Today is horrible. I tried to go to work, but I had to go home because of the anxiety. I could not focus for 30 seconds even. I met up with my P who is kind enough to take care of me in these moments. That was ok. 20 minutes after that, I fell back into depression. Came home and now only sitting on couch, staring at the walls. I cannot manage to get out of this.
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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2016, 09:33:36 AM »

Came home and now only sitting on couch, staring at the walls. I cannot manage to get out of this.

What are you focusing on? Where are your thoughts going? 
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« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2016, 09:54:24 AM »

Came home and now only sitting on couch, staring at the walls. I cannot manage to get out of this.

What are you focusing on? Where are your thoughts going? 

I can't stop thinking about the family I never had. Ironically, my kind P reminds me even more of what father I never had. I just want to be born again into a sane family.
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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2016, 10:06:51 AM »

I can't stop thinking about the family I never had. Ironically, my kind P reminds me even more of what father I never had. I just want to be born again into a sane family.

I understand that completely. I have often parroted my mother when she said, "We are not a family, we are a people genetically combined." (She is such a warm, caring person!)

But, what I'm realizing is that family has nothing to do with blood relations. Family has to do with bonds, connections, and love.

So, you can have exactly what you seek. But, first, you must start with loving yourself. I say that because if you cannot feel your own love, how can you possibly recognize the love of another? How will you know when the family is created?

Or, are you talking about the fictitious love that is supposed to exist just because a person shares the same genetic structure and merely exists? How does your intellectualizing of thoughts play with that one?
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« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2016, 01:32:05 PM »

I submit that you feel numb because you are working so hard to distance yourself from your feelings. Something about those feelings is dangerous to you.

Dangerous - or seemingly unbearable.

And when I refer to "feelings", I mean the actually physiological responses of your body. Where do you "feel" it in your body, for example, when you are feeling very sad? You may have never paid attention before, but these emotions have sensations that accompany them.

If you like to reading, check out "The Body Keeps the Score: brain mind and body in the healing of trauma" by Bessel van der Kolk MD or "Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body" by Peter Levine. The first is more academic; the second comes with a CD that will allow you to try some of the methods that are suggested.

The hypothesis (backed up by science): trauma resides in the midbrain and leaves an indelible and lasting imprint on the nervous system if not processed correctly. Our forebrain (and "talk therapy" can do very little to get at this trauma and heal it.

You mentioned that you were traumatized during childhood. Hopefully this teaser will leave you intrigued enough to do some reading.
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2016, 01:55:06 AM »

Today was my last session with my P for the summer. I do not know how to survive anymore and suspect I will not manage more than a few weeks, but we'll see. The pain is absolutely excruciating.
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2016, 02:21:15 AM »

Today was my last session with my P for the summer. I do not know how to survive anymore and suspect I will not manage more than a few weeks, but we'll see. The pain is absolutely excruciating.

LC,

Have you thought about trying Mood Gym, an online CBT program?

https://bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a111.htm

Me,bers here who have tried it have said it's been helpful.
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2016, 08:19:43 AM »

The pain is absolutely excruciating.

I’m so sorry you’re suffering like this. I did find CBT as recommended by Turk helped me, but also medication was a big, big help. I know you may not feel like it, but have a go at some of the suggestions, some of it may well help.

You also mentioned not being able to stop thinking about your family. Rumination is a common problem when BPD is involved, I found computer games or painting helped break those thoughts. Anything that’s arresting, so maybe a hobby, may break the rumination.

You mentioned coming home and feeling down – being close to nature can help. I’ve been depressed in a beautiful setting and depressed at home, but depressed in a beautiful setting is much better. Never forget, it’s just how you’re feeling now, it’s not forever. Don't isolate yourself, even though that might feel natural, I also found the Samaritans are extremely good at dealing with we depressed folk and they're free. Just benefiting from the kindness of strangers can make a difference. Wishing you the best of everything.  

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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2016, 08:54:03 AM »

Today was my last session with my P for the summer. I do not know how to survive anymore and suspect I will not manage more than a few weeks, but we'll see. The pain is absolutely excruciating.

Why is your treatment ending for the summer? That sounds completely inappropriate for someone who's severely depressed. You need to find another T. Someone who does not discharge you for three months.
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2016, 12:42:25 PM »

Did you make it completely clear at your visit with your P how bad you are feeling? That you feel like you can't even last another few weeks? This is not a good time to go without treatment.
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