“We were the cliché but we carried on anyway”

Ah, shit. Now I’m back to the original dilemma of not being able to vent on here because it comes out wrong and people misunderstand it, and having nobody else to talk to unless I break a promise. But I need to talk. All of my other words have been wasted on someone who didn’t appreciate them in the slightest.

I switch feelings on and off with just one little flick but there’s clearly still something bothering me. ‘I want to write a love story,’ I said. ‘Take my hand and let me feel something again, let me get my head all messed up.’

Perhaps I should just be as honest as people believe me to be. Perhaps there’s something of value in that. Perhaps it’ll fix the misunderstanding caused by reading things in the wrong order, and of me assuming that the things I said were put into context by words you’d surely already read. Perhaps not.

It’s difficult when you can’t admit something to yourself. It makes it impossible to admit to someone else.

I don’t like admitting my mind is broken. I can’t even say it straight; I can hand-wave it away and tell you everything I know but it’s from a very detached perspective. I don’t like the label – a lot of people hear borderline personality disorder and think I’m going to be a manipulative bitch; someone who threatens suicide when I don’t get my own way and makes everyone’s lives hell.

I don’t ever threaten to kill myself. I’d be too scared that someone would just hand me a knife or point me to a bridge. That’s how laughably low my self-esteem is. I can’t even personality disorder properly.

It’s ‘borderline’ because it used to be a diagnosis for the borderline psychotic; it wasn’t a personality disorder, it was a mental break. It wasn’t completely losing touch with reality, it was just closing your eyes to it for a while so you could scream your lungs out. It became a personality disorder when psychologists created tidy little boxes to fit people into and you get thrown into this one if you meet the criteria in their diagnostic manual.

Actually, my official diagnosis was ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (Borderline type)’ because it’s given a different name in a different book. Is that any more helpful? Well, no. (‘They’ve rebadged it, you fool!’) That makes it sound like a mood disorder. However, my mood is definitely disordered; today alone I have bounced between being unable to cope to laughing at the ridiculousness of it all to hating myself so very, very much.

To be fair, that’s kind of my natural mood. I feel comfortable when I’m hating myself. I know where I stand. I could spend a whole day happy and then as soon as I try to go to sleep my brain will conjure up images of all the people it feels the need to compare me to and I’ll lie there wondering if my life would be better if I were nicer to people, or wore more makeup and better shoes, or got more skinny – or less skinny, I don’t even know what I’m meant to look like anymore – or weren’t so rubbish at everything I do… and there’s no way of fixing this.

I do a good job of hiding the crazybrains most of the time. Most people are surprised when they find out. It’s usually only when they see the cuts and scars that they realise that something is horribly wrong. And then I’m exposed; I’ve overshared and now it’s clear how much of a disaster I am. I feel ashamed about how disgusting I am and the spiral of self-loathing continues.

Comfort in words… sentences that will never be spoken again because of the fear that they’ll be misunderstood. I understand. Maybe they were never meant. It’s not like I could ever believe them anyway.

Every so often someone gets through a crack in the armour and they get to see the monster that hides within.

Borderline personality disorder fucks with your thinking. Everything is so overdramatic; you don’t give yourself time to react – something is wrong and it must be fixed there and then so you say anything to make it better… but you’re so bad at reading people that what you think they want to hear is actually what they’re trying to avoid and by the time you’ve figured it out you’re so frantic with panic that you just continue hurtling headfirst into a brick wall because you can’t fucking back down now.

Do you ever get hangover anxiety? Where you wake up feeling like shit and you worry about the impression you gave to the world while you were drunk? The night before you were gorgeous and charming but now that you’ve slept and the booze is still fizzily battling it out with your liver you suddenly start wondering if you said something stupid or hurt someone or did something embarrassing. That’s how I feel all the time.

There is no cure. Therapy relies on the desire to help the self and the awareness of when things are slipping. It’s not easy and not always possible. Once the thought has escaped and you’ve missed the chance to grab it back then all you can do is bite your lip and brace yourself.

I don’t know why I do this. This isn’t even close to being the first time it’s happened. It’s the first time I didn’t ruin someone, though. Normally I’m like a mermaid conducting shipwrecks.

See, I am crazy. I feel like I’m being laughed at; I’m the punchline to a joke I don’t get and he won’t let me in on it.

I’m tired of being completely fucking worn down by mediocre social interactions.

I[‘m] fucked up.

This is why I can’t write in the moment itself; if I had written this before then it would have been engulfed in peculiar emotions that passed through but didn’t stay and were soon forgotten. Like everything else. I have to wait and then analyse it once the storm has passed. I can’t write while I’m still firing lightning bolts at people because they’ll read something I wrote while I was playing with anger but they’ll still be reeling from sadness and love.

Or not. See, the thing that’s bothering me is that I misunderstood so fucking badly. You experience dissonance when you try to hold two conflicting beliefs or thoughts in your mind at once, or act in a way that goes against what you believe. I was experiencing it to begin with: ‘I don’t do this kind of thing’ wasn’t playing too nicely with the kind of thing I was doing, and in order to remove the dissonance I justified it by changing the thought to ‘I only do this kind of thing with a friend I really like’ but it turned out I got the friendship part wrong.

I knew it wasn’t enchantingly meaningful, but fuck… I didn’t realise it was totally meaningless.

That’s my regret. I gave too much away; I showed them everything because it felt important to do so, because they seemed genuinely curious about and interested in and entertained by me, and I have always been so scared of being that open with someone so I wanted to see what would happen. (And I was lonely and in need of validation…) But I wouldn’t have ever let them in on this if I’d realised they were only pretending to care. I can’t take it back because they’ve seen too much and they know too much and now I’m devastated over the loss of something that didn’t exist and embarrassed about how willing I was to give myself away.

I feel so ugly and dirty, it hurts when I breathe. I can feel my pulse in my ears. I’m dizzy but even the heart palpitations can’t beat away the horrible sick feelings of shame and impurity.

Please understand: this isn’t their fault. I just shouldn’t have done it. I thought I understood where I stood, that’s all.

My final desperate attempts to hear some reassurance were denied and, as I sit on the floor in my little shame-spiral, all I’m left with is the voice inside my head whispering ‘What else did you expect, you stupid whore? Wasn’t I right about you?’

0 comments on ““We were the cliché but we carried on anyway”

  1. You can reveal whatever you like, because that’s you. But what if the armor is hiding goodness? What if something good happens and you become happy? What if that happiness lasts for an appreciable length of time? Oh no!

    I use this technique: 5%. I figure about 5% of people will hate my guts no matter what I do or say. I also figure about 5% of people will love me no matter what I say or do. I try to avoid both. (I admit, that upper 5% is kind of nice sometimes, but they’re yes men who won’t tell you what you need to hear.) I worry about that 90% in the middle. I also just compare myself to myself. Am I better than I was? Am I trending generally upward? That’s progress. That’s good enough. And if I’m doing good enough for myself, then it makes it easier to minimize other people.

    It’s when you care little what others think that they mysteriously become drawn to you. Not caring about what others think is interesting!

    • I think there’s a lot I can’t reveal, simply because I can’t face up to it so I don’t understand what it really is. That’s why I’m writing now; I’m trying to work it out. I’m hoping there’s some goodness in there somewhere. It’s hard to imagine happiness… it’s one of the few things I can’t fake, because I don’t know if I’m doing it right.

      Ahh, you see, I worry that the 90% (and the 5% of people who love me, actually) secretly hate my guts anyway so that’s probably something I’d have to work on for quite a while! I absolutely, without a doubt, need to stop comparing myself to others though. It’s less the comparison itself, it’s more the negativity I view myself with. Sometimes the rational voice is louder and tells me I’m doing fine (and even occasionally tells me I’m better) but it’s the other voice, the one that puts me down constantly, that kills me. It’s nothing but ‘Does it just suck being you?’ in my head all the time. Yes, it does suck. It would suck less if that voice would shut the fuck up.

      That’s cats, isn’t it? They’re only interested when you’re not! Seriously, though… I’m not sure anyone will be drawn to me, but I do just need to concentrate on what I want and what I think is good for me. It’s exhausting and a waste of precious time to do otherwise.

      • Another secret is that lots of people feel like they’re not measuring up, and that’s true no matter how high they go. They especially feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. What THEY don’t realize is that to a certain extent, no one knows what they’re doing.

        The ultimate secret is that it’s not who knows the most. It’s who appears to know the most, by displaying confidence. That’s how both incredible and ridiculous people come to power. For various definitions of ‘power’.

        But trust me, you’re absolutely fine in the grand scheme of things.

        • I think I wrote about imposter syndrome in one of my very early posts – I said that I feel like I have it, but without the achievements to actually help me feel better about myself! You’re totally right though, and it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way because if you fake that kind of confidence and other people believe it then that boosts your ego and you act more confident and so on and so on… It’s pretty amazing how far in the world faking it will actually get you, isn’t it?

          I guess deep down I know I’m doing okay. I just can’t quite bring myself to believe that wholeheartedly. It’s easier to have low expectations, sadly – that way I’m not left so damaged when things inevitably blow up in my face.

          • Things will blow up. But only a small number. It has nothing to do with you. It’s those pesky other people.

          • Sometimes it is, definitely. But don’t underestimate my talent for self-destructing when something nice happens and I can’t handle it. Took me YEARS to hone that particular skill!

          • See? You ARE great at something!

            Kidding.

          • I’m not kidding. I’m fucking gifted at being a walking apocalypse 😉

          • Stop, and realize people are on your side! It’s not the end of… I mean, you are quite capable and fit and stuff.

          • Don’t tell the horrible little voice in my head that people are on my side otherwise it’ll start plotting ways to get rid of everyone and then I’ll have to write more uncomfortable poetry while I’m bawling my eyes out at 5am.

            Seriously though, thank you. I’m really not used to any of this.

          • Get used to it! You’re liked and appreciated, and there is much support in the blogosphere.

          • There really is so much support. Which is excellent, because this is the first time I’ve had this many people read anything I’ve written! (It’s not that many, but it’s still so many to me. If you get me?) I’m trying to get used to it, I swear.

          • I had another blog before this. I’ve been there. I started over for personal reasons, but I’ve met a lot of new people, like you! So it’s great.

          • I’ve had a few over the last decade. One was self-hosted, and that was super lonely because I don’t really do self-promotion so the only people who really read it were people who viewed my profile on other sites, or random google hits. WordPress is easily my favourite blog host; I think I’ve tried most of the other blog/journal sites at some point and they all sucked. I’m still having internet issues at the minute though, so I’ve been reading a lot but not really commenting on other people’s entries… yet! I need wifi back 🙁

          • I just didn’t want a certain few people to read it. Otherwise, I’m good.

          • This is the first time I’ve been reasonably open about my identity… It’s a bit unnerving. I had an ex-boyfriend stalk a few blogs in a row – the same one who pulled my journals out of the dustbin. Fun times!

          • Don’t throw your writing away! It’s valuable, plus it’s a journal in code. Keep it hidden, maybe, but don’t trash it. You can transcribe it to your blog, but make it private so only you can read it.

          • I’ve got a few journal entries from 2006 and 2008 saved, but only because I managed to find them by searching certain phrases on google. When I look back though, I just hate almost everything I wrote. It’s all so caught up in emotions I don’t even [want to] remember. I find it so strange. I’m already feeling like that about this, to be honest. I’ve scared someone away with my behaviour, so now I’m scared to write meaningfully. My last post was more quantity than quality :/

            (You’re totally right though… I just have little no impulse control.)

          • That person wasn’t right for you. Shrug them off. You can’t always just assume it’s you, some flaw or failing on your part. Other people are just bustin’ with flaws.

            Keep being yourself. I like that. Other people will too. Other people DO too.

          • Ahh, I’m just feeling sad at the minute. I’ve spent so long assuming that everything was my fault and that I can’t be myself, it’s hard to adjust to a different way of thinking. But this is progress, I think. I hope!

            And I really do appreciate the things you say to me. It’s really helping right now.

          • I’m glad. Most things are just unresolved differences. They’re not one person’s fault (read: not your fault).

          • It’s too easy to blame myself, I guess… I just feel like I’d rather say sorry for something I might not have done, than hurt someone and not apologise for it.

          • It may be easy, but it’s not necessarily fair to you.

          • No, it’s just a really hard habit to break. It’s a massive internal conflict.

          • Have a conflict with the conflict.

  2. this post is amazingly writing, i love it

  3. A lengthy one ,simple thing is believe in yourself ,spend some time in meditation , hobby , music ,eat right food ,that is it

  4. You are not crazy. Don’t be afraid to write what you are feeling in the moment…at the moment. If somebody doesn’t like what you wrote, they can stop reading. This is an amazing community of bloggers and we are here to read, support and offer comfort. Write what you feel….you may or may not feel differently tomorrow….it doesn’t matter….but I do know one thing….YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!

    • Thank you so much… I think I have been a little bit out of my mind recently, though! I should try harder to write in the moment, but I always feel too open when I’m actually going through something and I get so worried about what other people are going to think. And I just had my fingers pretty badly burnt, unfortunately. However, this post came about because I realised I needed to say all of these things – I may feel differently tomorrow (or in ten minutes, even) but perhaps if I didn’t keep everything bottled up then things could actually end in a more positive way. It’s far too late to save this, but maybe next time.

      Thank you again – everyone has been great here so far and I really appreciate you taking the time to say such kind things! And I’m really glad you don’t think I’m crazy.

      • NEVER be afraid of what “other people are going to think.” You are telling YOUR story…you are recording YOUR feelings. If somebody is going to judge you…it’s very easy to hit “delete” but I don’t think that’s likely to happen. We all have our own stories. We all pour our hearts out. We ALL support each other. Let it out! 🙂

        • It’s definitely something I’m trying to overcome. I’ve spent so much time being too scared to say anything or just lying about things because I found the truth too uncomfortable… And I have deleted so much over the years, sadly. But it’s going okay right now, it all feels very therapeutic! Having the encouragement here is awesome – when I freaked out and took down the blog last week, I actually got really agitated that I no longer had this outlet. So thanks – you can expect more outpouring! 🙂

  5. Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you being you. Acceptance of who one is can be pretty hard. I often find myself faking through confidence many things. It gives people a much higher opinion and belief in me when it comes to things I’m skeptical about myself in. Things like my present job for example.

    I have only been working there almost a year but about 3-6 months in they had me applying for positions 2-3 levels higher than what I was that I had no discernible knowledge to do because they believe I did based on how well I faked it.

    One of my current supervisors is definitely faking everything he knows. I sabotaged my own interviews because I believed there were others that had been there much longer and were much more deserving of said promotions due to experience and knowledge I knew they had that I didn’t.

    I’m up for another promotion already and this time I’m going to do everything to get it. That probably makes me sound like an idiot or an asshole, or a bit of both.

    The honest truth is though, I’m the least experienced soul working my present job and yet most believe and treat me like I were a few positions higher than I am and root for me to get said promotions simply because I’m good at faking things.

    So trust me, you are not a horrible soul. 😉

    I also think you are pretty awesome just how you are.

    Cheers! ^_^

  6. I can relate so much to this. I have Borderline Personality Disorder with psychosis and the disordered thinking is the thing that gets me the most. The constant self-doubt and the low self esteem that are caused because of it… Sounds cliche, but you have just gotta keep thinking about the good times, though they are limited some days… With BPD the lows are worse, but the good times are even better. So hold out for the good days, that’s what I do. And do not be ashamed of your scars! They show recovery. Wishing you the best. If you need a chat, drop me a message. X

    • It makes me feel sad when people relate to the bad stuff because I hate the idea of others going through this. Thank you so much for commenting, though – it really means a lot!

      I think the other thing that gets me the most is the fact that the most ridiculous things trigger these thoughts, and if I’m in a bad place already then I end up in a perfect storm of self-destruction. Ugh.

      The good times are definitely better. And my scars aren’t too obvious these days, but I just feel a bit vulnerable when people notice.

      Anyway, thank you again. You’re really kind! All the best to you, too – and the same goes to you, so please get in touch if you ever need someone to talk to 🙂 x

  7. Hi Kim, I just read this post and I know it’s over a year old, but I just want to say that I can relate to so much of what you’ve written. It’s 2 a.m. where I am, but I plan on reading more of your blog posts. I could relate to so so much because I’m dealing with many of the same issues and it’s just a comfort to know I’m not the only one.

    • Thank you – I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with a lot of the same kind of stuff but I’m glad that what I’ve written is helping you 🙂 I’ve been on a bit of a break, but I’ll be writing more soon – and just drop me a line if you ever need someone to talk to 😊 x

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