I'm 25 years old and living in regional South Australia, but I'm originally from NSW. I was diagnosed with BPD just under 6 years ago after a long struggle with mental health. Following my diagnosis I relocated interstate and started studying at a new tertiary institution while sitting on a waiting list in Newcastle for an advanced and immersive DBT clinic where I was hoping to receive treatment and eventually manage to level out some of my symptoms. However after a full year of being on the waiting list and deteriorating I moved back to SA to be with the support network I had established here.
I know that while there are certain similarities in the way that BPD presents in different people, there are also some very unique symptoms that vary from person to person. For me, this results in several of the more severe traits of a personality disorder, as well as experience severe depression and some episodes of mania associated with mood disorders.
I HEAR VOICES!
There are 5 personalities in my head, including myself. I optimistically like to believe that I am the 'main' persona, but I may just be fooling myself.
Over the past 6 years I have received numerous different treatments and therapies, most successfully culminating in a combination of medication (mood stabiliser) and also I went through rigorous DBT with my psychologist in a one-on-one targeted approach. Having done years of CBT prior this approach was refreshing in that I felt I was finally gaining some control. I was able to safely explore the various traumas from my childhood that resulted in my personalities and to finally foster some empathy for myself about why I am the way I am.
I'm happy to say that in the past six years I have managed to overcome many of the barriers I placed upon myself. I have challenged the stigmas that terrified me so much when I was diagnosed, and have come to honestly believe that I am not the toxic manipulator that so many of the things I have read say BPD patients are. I am engaged to be married, and have two beautiful stepsons (12 and 8). My fiancee and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary in June, where we also got engaged.
I have successfully completed both an undergraduate degree in music (Jazz Composition) and a Masters degree in teaching and am now teaching music (and other things) at a small primary school. I love my job and love the opportunity to work with such beautiful young people and potentially shape their lives. For the most part I am a 'normal' person (whatever that is) and I feel largely in control of my mental health. I have somewhat accepted that my brain will always be like this, and that I will never be able to remove the voices, without also removing a large part of what makes me who I am. My fiancee has been such a big part of my healing journey and she knows intimately my diagnosis and symptoms.
Despite all these amazing things that I have to be grateful for, and despite me knowing that there are so many people in the world struggling far more than myself, I can't shake the way I feel right now. I still get bouts of depression. I still become disheartened and lose control over my thoughts and actions. I still sometimes say things I don't mean in order to push people away because I fear that if I don't then they will just abandon me anyway. I still can be toxic to my relationship out of fear of what could happen. I still can't fully allow myself to believe that I am worthy of love. I'm still broken in so many ways that I can't reconcile myself with. I still struggle to accept that maybe I will never get better.
Sometimes I just feel like I need someone that understands how I feel. And while my fiancee loves me unconditionally, and while she is the most understanding and caring person I have ever met, and while she listens and accepts every part of me, I can't help but sometimes feel like a disappointment. Because she sends endless love to me and sometimes I reject her unneccessarily for fear that if I don't then maybe she will. And even when my heart knows I'm wrong, it's not always strong enough to combat my head.
I know I've written way too much, and I'm sorry for that. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end - and hopefully at some point I'll be able to offer some advice, a helping hand, or at least some non-judgemental listening in return some day.
I know exactly how you feel. I have CPTSD and its symptoms of distorted thinking, anger, (uncontrollable anger), addiction, immense fear, intimacy issues etc., plague me. Since my diagnosis I have learnt a lot about my symptoms which has helped me manage themmuch better... but still sometimes they raise their ungly head. And then I persacute myself no end. The self-heatred is overwhelming. I have a marvelous husband of 11 years and he too is a very understanding and loves me unconditionally... i am so gratefyl I have him.
I know I will never be fully well and I have accepted this now. This soothed my soul!
Hi @Lesmall and welcome to the forums. So sorry I didn't see your post until now. It's really great that you've found us - thanks for being patient despite not getting a lot of replies yet. It can happen sometimes and by no means is anything deliberate. I'm hearing you and grateful that you could share so openly. It sounds like you have really achieved a lot whilst living with your MH challenges. I have different MH stuff from you but am here to listen if you want to talk some more. Also tagging @greenpea and @Teej here in case they want to offer support or suggestions or tag anyone else in to this discussion.
If you want to tag someone use the @ symbol followed by the person's name with no spaces. You should see a drop down box where you can click on the name you want. Sometimes with short names you have to enter it slowly I've found. Also you can use the search bar to find other threads on topics you are interested in e.g. voices, BPD, DBT, CSA, PTSD etc. This can be a good way to connect with others with similar experiences.
Hope you start to find your way around here easily. There are also some social threads such as Friday Feast, Saturday Soiree, A long rave, Good morning - just enter on the search bar. (Sorry I'm not good at doing links).
Take care and please do tag me if you want a listening and supportive ear.
Just a heads up : we are not supposed to say things that could identify us e.g. your real name.
When I read you post I was full of admiration for what you have achieved. That is a total credit to you. Im wondering if you have professional support still living in a rural area. I know it is especially tricky in the county areas.
As as far as things like fear of abandonment and that pull you push you cycle I think it takes insight and time to work through this for it not to become a default setting. You seem to have good insight and a partner who will give you time. I have had some pretty big fears of abandonment over the years (my coping strategy was to turn it on myself). I can’t say I’m over it yet but currently it isn’t pervading my life like it once did. I should note I dont have a current partner but I’m guessing if I go down that road it would be part of the difficulties I’d face. My gut is that as long as you can acknowledge to your partner when these things are in play (or shortly after) then you can both work on it together.
In any relationship there will be barriers and conflicts to work through. There is likely to be more success if you can keep communication lines open with the tricky and the good. Celebrate together when you have a win, that way it’s not just about you, you are solving problems together. Sorry that was probably a bit too much along the advice lines. I’m not one to give advice on this as I’ve had two failed long term relationships. I learn from others who have tricky things to get through and teamwork is often the defining thing. You could make one of the things like the abandonment issue a goal to set with your partner and break it down into the steps. Every small step you celebrate together. It will take time and love to get through but you deserve to be loved and not have this on your shoulders.
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