BPD, it’s not an excuse.

According to my therapist’s recommendation, I am reading a book about BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder. Which my Dad clearly has.

My dad was once diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and ADD. But there’s now some clear differences between BD an BPD. With BD, mood swings last for days on end, and often come with manic bursts of energy.

I never saw my dad have bursts of energy, he was always tired, often depressed. His mood swings were by the day or hour, generally.

The rage, lashing out, and splitting (diving people into black and white sides of a question, with no room for nuance) are all part of BPD, but not BD.

ADD is part of it, or can be.

Perhaps this was all supposed to come as a shock to me, but I am not really astonished.

I figured he’d fit some category. Borderline is the borderline between neurotic and psychotic. A person who had really never grown up.

The book I’m reading “Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder ” is about learning to live with someone like that, and there’s another book “Stop Walking on Eggshells”. They might be helpful in the future.

But the book makes no mention so far of how someone with BPD could easily be abusive, usually they come from abusive backgrounds. With the outbursts of wrath, and manipulation, why not?

The books have almost a cavalier attitude toward the people stuck living with a child or parent like this (though, if the child id like this, it is usually is the parent’s fault, unless they’re adopted, it’s a learned behavior). Like “you can learn to manage this person.”

I could see some use for this in a day of arrange marriages, marrying for status, etc. In other countries where that’s still the case.

But if you have a choice, what self respecting person signs on for that kind of crazy. BPD people cannot maintain relationships, and should not be in romantic ones, the most intimate, challenging kind.

BPD, giving it a name, is kind of a self defeating thing to do. The Silence, by Bastille, describes it pretty well:

“Tell me a piece of your history that you’re proud to call your own Speak in words you picked up as you walked through life alone.

We used to swim in your stories and be pulled down by their tide, choking on the words and drowning with no air inside.

Now you’ve hit a wall and it’s not your fault my dear, my dear, my dear. Now you’ve hit a wall and you’ve hit it hard, my dear, my dear, oh dear.

“If you give it a name, then it’s already won. What you good for, what you good for? If you give it a name, then it’s already won.”

 

Bastille is right in a way, often when we give these personality traits a name, they win. Because it’s a human failing, to think once we compartmentalize and label something, it’s less powerful.

When really, we just take it less seriously.

That’s the power of stereotypes. You call someone a  hick, a diva, a geek, a nerd, a jock, and they lose some of their dignity. Between friends, being undignified is okay, even necessary, but when we do it in general, it’s to avoid thinking about the person, really, truly thinking about them. Understanding them.

You might argue, if we give it a label, people might be kinder. Like ASD, ADD, ADHD.

It seems kinder at first, but then people assume you have no choice, you become something less than human, if you have no control over the type of person you are.

I know that there are some things someone on the ASD spectrum cannot control, but those things are actually very limited. Almost all aspects of a condition can be temporary with enough years and effort. It depends on the severity.

Likewise, BPD is a condition people can grow out of, with or without therapy.

But if the person can grow out of it, could recognize it as immature, then they knew what they were doing was wrong. They might lack the self control to stop, but they knew.

I don’t like it when experts deny the obvious. That anyone with mental illness that they are somewhat conscious of has a choice. Good experts don’t deny it.

In my dad’s case, he did things the book hasn’t described so far. Threatening me physically. Being mean, on purpose, even when he was in a good mood, sometimes more so then.

My dad’s abusive nature colored most of his interactions. He had to be in control, even if things were good. So if he was having fun, he’d make you miserable so that it was in his power, he’d sometimes try to make you have fun, if he was in the mood.

Not everyone with BPD is like this. They are not all abusers. I actually have a few of the traits myself, but since I was raised in an abusive house, that makes sense, I don’t have it to the excess I’d be diagnosed with a condition.

But the temptation to always feel like the victim, to think every one hates you, and to desperately want them to love you, is part of my life. Also, the emptiness I sometimes feel.

Victims feels empty because we were neglected, and our expressions of love were usually tainted by manipulation so as to not be satisfying.

One thing that was interesting was the book said the BPD people with hug too tight and too long because they feel empty. My dad always hugged both too tight and too long…and oddly, both me and my youngest sibling hated being hugged and kissed by him, and even by anyone, as young kids. To this day both of us are hesitant to allow people to hug us, and I still don’t like kisses (I wish I did). We always wondered what made us dislike it, but the way he did felt off. My dad blamed us for not wanting to snuggle, thinking it wasn’t normal, but preditcatbly, he was the one who made it abnormal.

My aunt has excused my dad on the basis of being on the ASD spectrum, and having ADD, and BD. But I believe BPD is the correct diagnosis. The others all had holes in the theory, and he grew out of the ADD. He is still BPD.

Which brings me to my real point, my dad’s abuse is not explained away by BPD. It gave him issues relating, but it did not make him mean and controlling in the way that he was. It’s a choice to do those things.

Anyone who tries to say I should have stuck it out has not appreciated the danger of doing so on my mental, emotional, and physical health. My dad didn’t want to be helped anyway.

The bible has a passage about the same behaviors as BPD. Galatians 5:19-21 reads “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders…”

Heresies, my dad believes some weird stuff about God due to his inability to let go.

The Bible does not complicate things. Theses things are from the flesh.

Does that mean these people are all evil? No… but some are.

It’s strong language to say my dad is evil, but his delight in doing these things seems like wickedness to me. I don’t see the point of sugarcoating it.

I think we are too wimpy now. We won’t say certain people are evil. But calling it that was helpful. Because evil can be repented from, how do you repent of a personality disorder?

The bible makes no mention of personality disorders. That is not because it was behind the times, written before psychology, the Bible has many verse about psychology, stuff modern studies are just starting to catch up to. The Bible knew the power of positive thinking, laughter, and power thoughts long before we officially proved the brain and body respond to those things.

Think about it, if the Bible was right about all that, way, way before we could even measure brain patterns, then isn’t it just possible that it’s right when it makes no excuses for evil based on personality.

True Mental Illness in the Bible exists in the form of either demonic oppression, or strong delusion. Otherwise, we are held responsible for our mental health.

Jesus told his disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Meaning, we can choose to be troubled.

David said “Why so downcast oh my soul? Hope in the Lord” indicating he could turn his soul to hope, not despair.

There’s lots of others verses. I recommend “The Utter Relief of Holiness” or “Free to Live” by John Eldredge, for more on this subject.

In cases like mine, a lot of what we feel isn’t caused by our choices. But everyone has that problem. People can just be jerks.

Our culture encourages us to blame everyone else for how we feel, and not do a thing about it. Just to sit in it.

But while we can’t blame ourselves for being mistreated, we can’t just let those people control our lives. Think about it, you want the person who hurt you the most to be the one calling the shots in your life? Not me.

Maybe you can be classified with a disorder. Maybe some of it never goes away. It’s possible that we never forget what it was like to be abused. But that doesn’t mean we have to act like victims the rest of our lives.

If God gives me the time one day I will have lived longer not being abused than I did being abused. But even if I don’t, I’ll have an eternity of better than I can imagine.

One thing abuse forces you to learn, if you would be free, is that you can’t let people shape your idea of a good life. God is the only one who can give you that image. You will settle for less than you could have otherwise.

It’s not just optimism, people. I have to believe that if I want to ever move on.

A lot of trouble would be saved if people told each other one thing: You can believe what you want… but only believing in the right things will lead you to freedom.

And there are things that will free you if you believe them. The Bible calls them the right steps.

So, BPD or not, we decide what we will be.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

Why did I choose Therapy?

I was looking at some posts and videos about therapy today, just to see if other people are sharing my experiences.

I found some surprisingly negative stuff, people saying therapy is for people who can’t face reality, yada yada.

Well, a lot of people have written articles debunking therapy myths, so I can’t add anything new, but I’d like to share why I chose Therapy.

  1. it was not because my depression and anxiety are so debilitating I cannot function.

I can sleep, eat, and work, I don’t feel bad all the time. The feelings are not usually very strong when I do, more of a nagging “something isn’t right” kind of feeling.

The reason I decided to seek therapy despite that is A. I didn’t want it to turn into that because I ignored the problem, and B. I don’t want to act in ways that will hurt the people around me.

With abuse and trauma and neglect, the problem is all you’ve seen demonstrated is the wrong way to handle stuff, therapy cannot replace good parents, but your therapists ideally is showing you a healthier way to listen and talk about feelings and problems, and helping you find what will work for you. In place of being shown it as a child, you can choose to learn it as an adult.

2. I didn’t want a pity party.

What drew me to therapy versus just some kind of support group sort of thing was I wanted to be able to learn and apply for myself so I don’t end up dependent on other people for everything in my life. My therapist acknowledges my life was hard, but doesn’t linger on how that makes me a victim, I’d hate that.

3. I ran out of options

The thing is, therapy is not always necessary. A strong friend group, family, and community can help you the same way.

The problem is, if you need therapy, that’s a  good sign you don’t have any of those things.

That was the case for me, I have loving family members, but not ones who are very emotionally healthy and strong in the areas I need to grow in.

I have friends, but few I can really talk to, I end up encouraging them, more than they contribute to me. Also, people don’t want to talk about abuse, it scares them.

My community was somewhat supportive, but not on an intimate level where I could talk things out and figure out how to move on.

I’ve sought these things for years, and not had as much success as I could wish, so rather than wait until I do, Therapy seemed the wiser choice. Give me some breathing room to build better relationships.

Of course, it can be frustrating not to have those things, but to not have them should not be the end of emotional healing and growth.

4. Therapy is a way to acknowledge my need for help.

It’s dangerous to try to handle everything yourself, but I am tempted to do it. Therapy is a commitment that will keep me from being able to do that, even if I wanted to. It also keeps me talking to my family about my struggles because they are aware of what I’m doing.

5. Therapy is not an escape from the hard stuff.

I did not want to ignore what happened by putting a band-aid on it. Therapy does not do that. The idea is to face it with the attitude that it does not define you, and you can keep it that way by developing healthier habits.

A little look at what this is for me:

A lot of the process of healing is something I’ve been working on for years. So, my therapist knows she is not talking to a novice. So far she focuses on what I need to be encouraged to keep doing it. And to not give up on thinking it can get better, which was what I was tempted to do, and still am sometimes.

I lived in the ad situation for years, it affected me in ways I’ll still be discovering for years, and that’s okay. Because good emotional health does not depend on knowing every thing that bothered you ever before you can be good again. It depends on knowing how to treat it when something comes up.

Also, having issues does not mean you live out of them, as I’ve said before.

One of my defining issues for years has been “It’s my fault”, my dad used to blame me for literally everything that upset him about our family.

My therapist says he was all the more angry at me because I refused to accept his blame. My dad upbraided me for “fighting him” which meant all I resisted and argued and called him out on over the years. he didn’t break me. But he tried, and just knowing he tried was traumatic.

Perhaps some of you know what I’m talking about. Maybe the person didn’t go all the way with a threat, or an attack, or a bad decision, but just that they did part of the way was scary, and you didn’t know if they’d go further.

The more my dad tried to scare me, the more I fought it.

There’s a quote I found about depression that goes like this:

Quotes about Clinical Depression (42 quotes)

That’s what it is like for me. I was holding my family together by sheer enduracne, it felt like, until I just couldn’t do it any more. I ignored my suffering. Or I faced it alone with God because I had no one to talk to.

I came a lot further because of God, but turning to God can become a way of avoiding it, not because God does not help, but because you can stop actually seeking his help in your attempt to use that to justify not needing anyone else. God’s help may be in other people.

6. I thought God told me to.

Avoiding therapy was stressing me out more than my other problems were, now at least that is off my plate.

I did not want to need help, but the thing is, I also do not want to live my life by that desire. The one to be stronger than other people just to make it easier for myself. Being smart has always made college classes easy for me, yet in classes I do struggle in, the worst of it the people who have an easy time and have no pity for those who don’t.

I’m the classmate people ask questions of and what the homework is, because I don’t mind telling them. Would you ask the person who acts like they are better than you for knowing?

Even if I stumbled through without therapy, I don’t want to be the type to judge people for needing it. I have had a weakness for being afraid of people who are broken, partly because I lived with it for so long, but I want to have compassion for them and be able to help them.

(Note: I know someone who thinks that handling things on their own has always gotten them through life just fine, but this same person rarely if ever confronts people about what they don’t like, shares their feelings, admits to needing help, or is able to sympathize with other people. They are not a bad person, they are a kind person in many ways, but you just can’t talk to them about anything really deep and expect understanding. So it can be deceptive to assume you are fine just because you feel fine, maybe you aren’t miserable, but your life could be lacking so much meaning in it because you settled for barely getting by on your own.)

7. Therapy will, I hope, make me a better person.

My hope is to be a better sister, daughter, wife, friend, and christian for gong through the hard steps of therapy now and not later.

In all honesty, it can feel like it’s only making it worse. After a session I feel like my insides got poked with a stick on all the raw spots. I can feel off for days afterward.

But even with physical sickness, treatment can make you feel worse.

I used this analogy with my sisters (two of us have or have had braces)

Therapy is like getting braces.

Your teeth may be really messed up, many teeth problems can cause serous issues later in life if left unchecked, like breathing problems, infection, or bone damage from incorrect chewing. Teeth can grow in on themselves and be very painful.

But you’ve had them that way your whole life, since they grew in, you’ve grown up biting and sleeping the way you do, you’re used to how it looks. It’s just your teeth.

So, when your parents make you get braces, it feels awful. It’s painful for the first few weeks, and then with each new tightening, the pain is fresh all over again.

If you’re like me, you have a bunch of appliances, it gets stressful changing the new methods time after time, just when you got used to it.

And then, finally, you have that perfect smile you always wanted, the work is over right, only took 2 and half years…

Metal Braces Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

but, then you have a retainer, or your teeth will go back into their old habits.

49024 Orthodontist | What Happens If I Don't Wear My Retainer?

You see how it’s the perfect metaphor?

Teeth are as stubborn as thought and behavioral patterns, if you aren’t careful, they get out of hand fast. They are hard to correct, and without diligent care, braces can get pretty gross and give you cavities.

Therapy is like braces, it hurts, every session can feel like a new tightening, until you get used to it. even then, what if a new element is introduced later that starts the pain up all over. Even if in reality it’s only a couple years, at the beginning, that seems like forever.

And afterward, you know it won’t stay fixed without help. You have to “retain” what you learned in therapy in order to maintain a healthy  life.

Maybe not getting braces won’t be fatal (it can be with extreme dental problems) but it will leave you in a lot worse shape than if you just bite the bullet for a couple years.

My dad, ever the example of what not to do, did not wear his retainer or keep gong ot the dentist, and his teeth got crooked again and he ended up with a painful infection, had to get most of them replaced.

And you may not be so lucky with emotional and behavioral problems.

My dad almost preferred not having the real thing, it can be easier that way, dentures and fake teeth don’t rot, right?

Just so superficial relationships with people who won’t challenge you may last 20 years, but never be anything really valuable.

I like to keep my real teeth just like I’d like to feel my own feelings with really deep relationships. So, I’ll take the harder but healthier method.

Therapy does not get me out of hard work, it just keeps me form blowing it out of proportion. It keeps things in their proper place, much like braces do.

That’s what I have for you today, I hope if some of  you were wondering about what therapy is like, this answered your questions. This is just my experience of 4 sessions, so I’m barely getting started and not all therapy is the same, but it’s what I have available.

Until next time–Natasha.

Miraculous Ladybug is an Empath’s Nightmare! (And other things)

Chloe is best girl, yeah, I said it.

Man is this show hard to watch and not get involved. Especially if you can sympathize with almost every villain, and the main one. Even if they annoy me.

Now that I finished Season 3, I think:

A. What the heck is wrong with you Natalie? Natalie, vous-ete (est?) tres stupide!

(I took French last year, this show keeps reminding me of it.)

B. Why, oh why, are they dragging out this ship, everyone knows it’s endgame by now.

C. They are wasting Yagame as part of a triangle, she’s freaking awesome, she should be a separate character.

D. Chloe is hands down the best character on this show. Sorry, HawkMoth, go suck an egg.

I am not crazy about the finale, I think they did my girl Chloe dirty, she slowly won me over as the most complex, sympathetic character of the main cast. Unlike the villains, she occasionally makes good decisions, and improves herself.

But by far the crowning moment for Queen Bee was being the very first person to successfully throw off an Acuma (the moth mind control thing, if you don’t know.)

The Mary Sue Marinette does dodge an acuma a couple of times, but only Chloe has thrown one off after already being infected.

Until suddenly, she’s too stupid to know HawkMoth is just using her, or too petty to care. This show has a habit of scrapping Chloe-character development whenever it’s plot convenient.

Even if it did make sense, it’s pretty negative to have a character regress so often, and I don’t see how it helps the message of the show.

But as an empath, this show can be one heck of a ride. The fact that negative emotions are the main antagonistic feature is both interesting, and difficult. They keep it PG, but some of the stuff is very adult, even so. Jobs, money, fraud, all that stuff that adults and kids alike have to worry about.

They have this little sociopath Lyla on the show now, and she’s officially the worst character.

But Lyla provides an all too ugly example of the kind of people we’ve all meant, the ones who embrace and nurse their wounded feelings, and choose hatred and spite on purpose, no matter what someone tries to do to make up for it.

Any little thing is enough to offend those people, and if it’s a big thing, you can be sure you’ll never hear the end of it from them.

One can’t help but think while watching about how we are tempted by our own negative feelings to give into them.

The show does not hide that many of the people who get acumatized feel ashamed afterwards, their private feelings were just displayed for all the world to see, and they do not even remember it.

The show even acknowledges that some people would begin to find the city of Paris a too dangerous place to walk around in freely, but the wiser characters remind them that giving into to fear will only make it worse.

The show kind of skips the distraction of politics that usually make it hard to focus on the point of whether living in fear is wise, or necessary, instead it goes right to showing how living in fear is the worst response to a threat because it gives it more power. Intimidation is a key component of any take over, the season 2 finale even shows this brazenly in its plot.

That being the case, we can draw some interesting parallels to many things in our world, where our fear makes the situation worse.

People decry the world for getting too relaxed, lazy, indolent. Shows like MHA, and RWBY, even have the villains taunt heroes with that attitude, but the fact is, fear driven societies are disasters. They are miserable, and there’s a collective wisdom in our desire not to dwell on fear.

How to Cope in a Fear-Driven Society | Psychology TodayIf It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media ...

The idea that we should not dwell on our negative feelings is one that strikes home with me too, as you may remember, I have been dealing with depression.

Happily, it’s gotten much better, I don’t think it was ever full force anyway, but I had to do some soul searching, and I came to the conclusion… soul searching doesn’t work.

There are times and phases in life when you have to look at yourself and ask “what the heck am I doing?” but not when you’re depressed, stressed, or anxious. Introspection is a real pain when you aren’t feeling great about yourself to begin with, and it’s rarely honest.

Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. 3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings cannot be searched. ” (Proverbs 25:2-3) 

C. S. Lewis gave up keeping a diary because he saw no use for focusing on his own thought and feelings so much anymore. As a young teen, having a journal kept me sane, I did not have a lot of people to talk to.

Now, I still don’t have a ton of people to talk to, but I think I understand emotions a little better than when I was 13.

I do still keep a journal, but it’s become less of a comfort, it can be fun to write out good things, but the hyper-focus on what’s wrong no longer helps me process, it’s become rehashing the same thoughts over and over.

I think journaling does work, but perhaps God has not put his hand into that at this time of my life. So, I switched to therapy.

And in my last talk with my therapist, she told me again that my controlling father will probably not change, after decades of getting away with the same behavior.

At one time, I would not have wanted to hear that. While he was around, hoping he’d change was about all that kept me from despairing of my situation, up until last year, I never imagined he could leave. It’s still remarkable that it happened.

I can’t say I enjoyed hearing that it may be hopeless, but I did realize something, a lot of my hope depends on the idea that other people will change, or that I myself will somehow learn a new trick to manage my life.

In therapy, I’m being encouraged to just keep doing what I’ve already done, with few extra tips. Turns out, maybe therapy is  support system for what people already would need to do, but we can get so psyched out if left to ourselves, and not make those decisions. We need someone else to back us up.

See, the approach so far is not that I need to be “fixed” like I thought, but that I need to be encouraged to keep making the right choices, it’s having someone else on your team.

So, if you’ve ever considered therapy, at least Christian therapy, let me say, don’t expect it to be carrying you, but it can give you more resolve and help you feel there’s a way to move forward.

I now don’t think I’d have lost my mind without it, but it is hopefully shortening the amount of years I’ll spend recovering from this, since a huge part of recovery is not walking in the same circles of anxiety.

How does this tie in to the show?

Well… everyone on this show needs therapy. They need to learn ways to make better choices.

Chloe had the right idea, having someone you can trust to care about you is  good first step, you need to have hope.

Chloe hit the wall of having hope in a human being though, they will not always understand, or make wise choices.

Honestly, one of the ironies of the show is that Marinette, the person with a good background, loving parents, loyal friends, can be the most insecure, immature person in the main cast, save for Hawkmoth, ’cause that guy is whacked.

However, I’ve been thinking about that.

See, my dad had a royally flipped up background. Some of it might blow your mind, but some of you might have had similar experiences, I’ve discovered that suffering and evil are not what’s uncommon.

I know people with better parents than mine, too. But I have still been lucky in some ways.

The thing is, the people with good parents, aren’t necessarily the strongest, neither are the people with bad parents, despite what anime seems to think.

Trauma+tragedy is not a recipe for strong, brave character. In many cases, they are the most afraid and abusive of all.

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But, good family also doesn’t make you compassionate. Marinette is a perfect fictional example of how it make you less able to understand what others go through, while Adrian is far more sympathetic to people’s difficulties.

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Miraculous Ladybug is Adrien's Story: Here's Why

I used this analogy the other day, your background is like being dealt a hand of cards (I borrowed this from Stasi Eldredge).

The thing is, in most card games, you don’t win with the hand you start out with. With games like Shanghai, you have to add and replace cards slowly over time to get the right combinations.

A hand of cards at the start of a game of bridge - ABC News ...So, whether it was good hand, a bad hand, or in between, you still can’t win, unless you play the game, and play it well.

The game is life, bro.

What I mean is, you can choose to discard what was negative in your life, to stop listening to that, to exchange it for something better, in a Christian’s case, a new history in God.

How To Play UNOYou can get help, you can change your course. You can build on a good background, if you have one.

Whether you start off bad or good, you choose where it goes from there.

On the show, Chloe has to look at the very bad examples of both her parents, and realize she wants to be a hero, she wants to be kinder.

77.9k Likes, 709 Comments - Chloe Bourgeois ...Thomas Sanders just released a new video talking about almost the same thing, and asking the question “Why should we be good? What’s our motivation.”

I could have saved him 45 minutes of screen time, I have the answer.

Because God made us with that purpose. God requires goodness of us, and God has provided a way to be justified in his sight, because we cannot pull it off.

When you love God, you will want to be good. You will be able to be, more than if you were just trying for some abstract standard. Love is really all that motivates us.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

And for me, I don’t love myself so much I want to be a better person just for that reason, I do want to be happy, but there are times I loathe myself, not because I think it’ right, but because I have issues. I can’t always feel pleased with who I am.

But what I don’t do, is hate on myself when I feel that way. I try to remind myself God has a better vision of who I am.

And for the love of God, I can keep trying, He is the one who’s there for me, and I am so grateful for that. Even on days when I feel down, and feel like it’s not worth it, and I’ll never be free.

That’s just an illusion, a Lie, if you will.

Volpina (2016)Gotta watch for that.

Until next time–Natasha.

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https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj

 

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj

Normal?

Today I’m feeling better… I got in touch with a therapist, set up an appointment, fingers crossed.

You know, though, Anxiety and Depression is very frustrating for me. I’ve dealt with them my entire life, and the only time I have been free of them is since turning my life over to Jesus. Yet, periodically, they come back. Always in a different guise. School, sickness, emotional issues.

In times of stress, like currently, when my family life is rough, I didn’t always feel depressed before, but it’s like there’s nothing else, so my mind goes to that.

Being worry free can actually be outside my comfort zone.

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I read that one thing people with Depression feel is Self-Loathing. I always thought that meant I hate who I am, and I used to, but Id on’t any more. I don’t always love myself, sometimes I am downright frustrated with her, but I wouldn’t say I hate her.

Only, I’m noticing, the times I’m more frustrated with her, are when I feel anxious or depressed.

It’s not enough to just feel bad, I feel bad about feeling bad. I feel like I should know better. Like it’s a waste of time. Like if I could just stop focusing on it, I’d be fine.

Come to think of it, that’s what my parents always told me. Well, it was either that, or telling me how much worse they had it than me, and how they considered suicide, etc. Not exactly reassuring.

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It’s easy to see suicide as some kind of quick fix, if you lose sight of what’s important in your life. Right now, that’s tempting for me to do, because it looks like I’m experiencing a lot of what my dad experienced. It’s been ages since I had a really good experience with God, saw a real breakthrough, and my finances are not great, plus my family is a mess.

All of those things are things that caused my dad depression. He indulged it, it cant be said he really tried not to feel that way. My dad never worked proactively on his emotions, he just tried to remove stressors. I wonder if he feels better now that we are out of his life, as a huge stressor for him. My mom thought he might be relieved.

Well, good, I thought. So am I.

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So, I’ve found myself in my dad’s position. Things are a little less desperate. I’ve not had quite the same level of trouble as him, but it feels much the same.

My dad does not like being happy. I do, but I can feel uncomfortable with it, like I can’t trust it. Misery was company so much of my life, what do I do without it?

Yet, I could see potentially there being a plan in this somehow. I have dreaded becoming like my dad. It’s why I hate the idea of having depression, but why does that scare me so much? Is it because I saw it ruin my dad for being in our lives, and he was never happy, and he was always angry at me?

It’s like for me, there is no in between, if I have it, that’s the end of my life as I know it. I’ll never, ever be able to be normal. It couldn’t just be a phase.

Out loud, that sounds dumb. Many people move on from depression. Many only have it as a phase. Those who don’t can still learn not to be ruled by it. Knowing that doesn’t make me feel any better, it feels like a rationalization.

I have always felt like there is something wrong with me, deep down. It seems to be a weakness common to human beings to feel, especially women, but in my case it makes sense. I was treated like there was something wrong with me since I was a baby.

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#relatable

Always blaming myself for the lack of love in my life. Always afraid I was just too wrong to be happy, or fulfilled. On and on the cycle goes.

I used to try to fix that by self-improvement. When that didn’t work, I gave up on it and tried to move toward accepting myself. When that still didn’t quite do it, I thought I should move to focusing on God. Then to trying to enjoy life.

All the while, walking around with the emotional equivalent of a hole in my chest, spilling all the hurt out.

What could I do? It was hard to explain this to anyone. People praised me for how joyful I was. I thought I was.

I think, I am too. Sorrow does not suit my nature. Though I can describe all this, it might surprise you to know how little of it I can easily stay in. Half a day at most. It’s not easy for me to stay sad. It is easy to worry about being sad.

Anxiety is the sneaky agent of losing joy. It sneaks in when direct sadness would alert you too much to the attempt.

I get so furious at myself for feeling bad, and then I start this inner dialogue of all the reasons I don’t really feel bad, and if I’d stop thinking like this, I’d be fine.

What if I just had a reason to be sad? What if my parent’s response was not always to say I should just choose not to feel that way, but to listen? And listen without trying to fix it with cheap advice. Just be encouraging and kind. I do not even know what that feels like–well, I had one friend once who got it. But I moved and we got out of touch.

I have always found it hard to just feel feelings, without panicking because I feel them. I am not a very emotional person, that could be because I am terrified of emotions. They seem so uncontrollable, and I never had anyone who would pick me up if I fell apart.

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I expressed this fear to my family not too long ago, and they had no answer for it. Nothing. No reassurance they would be there for me if I did. I have been hanging on by my fingertips it feels like.

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God has been my outlet. I could cry and rage to Him, and not feel He could not handle it. Lately that has not been so easy to do. All the suppression seems to be reaching my prayer life too. I can sit an roll the problem over and over gain in my mine, never learning anything about it, but I can’t just cry it out, rage, and maybe feel better.

Oh, gosh, I actually do need therapy don’t I?

Evolution of the Big Brain
It’s kind of hitting me this week that all this isn’t normal.

 

The thing is, I didn’t choose to be this way. I’ve tried many, many times in my life to open up to my family, and to other people. With the same result of being brushed off, and shut down. No real help in learning how to process emotions well. I was fortunate to have an outlet, I was able to get this far because of grace.

But, if people do that to you, eventually you pay the price. It makes me angry, like, you all screwed this up, took out a loan from love that you couldn’t repay by making yourself depended on us for you happiness, but I’m the one who’s paying back that interest.

Somehow, it’s easier to blog this than it is to say it. I hit the same roadblocks when I try to talk, like “you just can’t say that in this house.”

 

Err, how am I going to do therapy?

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Well, I pray that’ll be worked out in time. The COVID crisis isn’t exactly helping, face to face is out, and I prefer that. But I don’t think I can wait till it’s available again.

One thought that does sometimes help, even when I feel helpless, is this:

I did not choose to have this happen, to be pushed into this dark hole, but, I can choose to leave it.

I can do what my dad didn’t, and try to get out. Early on in life. (Well, he did, but he didn’t address the real problems.)

The last year has felt like one long test to see if I will become like my dad, and do the things he did, I keep choosing not to. Lately, when I hear the same crap coming out of my mouth as he used to say, I think “This needs to change too.”

I hope that this is the right way to go about it.

Well, I guess therapy will give me something new to post about. Who knows, maybe I can help some people understand it better?

(I mean, you don’t have to talk about it, but I tend to talk/write about everything, I don’t really care much whether people know or not, once I commit to something.)

With that, I think that’s about all. Hey, thanks for reading my basically venting-about-my-life post, stay safe and healthy–Natasha.

The D-word.

Time for some real talk.

I don’t like to get super vulnerable on this blog because I prefer writing about other stuff,

but I also write about what’s on my mind, and lately, it’s been the D-word.

Depression.

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I loathe depression. I’m one of those people who grew up with a constantly depressed parent, and even my other parent never seemed happy to me.

I struggled with depression for a few years while living in fear, then it was gone for a while, it came back whenever I went through a dark place where I was fearful or stressed a lot.

I always just put it down to the stress.

I have never been one to wake up with a dark cloud over my life every single day. I do not have mood swings. I don’t like to sleep a lot.

So far, I’ve never thought about it being a medical issue, and I still think that is unlikely.

But, I got to see Depression modeled for me by my father. It made for a very stressful last 8-9 years of my life.

My father would tell us, when business got bad, that he had considered ending his life so we could get the insurance. That he would get really low, and think about it. Unlike me, who has always been horrified at the idea of taking my own life (even though I have been plagued with thoughts of it at various times throughout my life) he seemed to feel it was a viable option.

It put a lot of anxiety on me and my sisters, and my mom. We wondered if he meant it.

I now think that my dad wanted attention, from us, from God, and turned to desperate methods to get it. And I have now experienced he same temptation when people disappoint me, to do the same thing.

The extreme selfishness of saying things like that just to make a point has long been apparent to me also.

I have spent years trying to get the horror of those moments out of my system, it’s still a work in progress.

Somehow we kept on, and we didn’t talk about it. Ever. I learned to keep my fears to myself, as well as my fury at how he tormented us.

Now, I’ve been paying the price for all that repression by having a lot of stress that seems to just come from nowhere. And I get depressed.

I think that the idea of depression scares me more than the feeling itself. For me, sadness tends to be a short feeling, but to come repeatedly throughout the day or week or month. I will shake it off, but then something triggers me to worry again, and with that comes the Depression.

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)

Every time in my life I have ever felt depressed, it was because I had anxiety, and it was persistent. Then the Depression would make me more anxious, and I would start to have a panicky feeling, I think it’s called Extreme Anxiety or something.

The Bible also says, “There is no Fear in Love, but Perfect Love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18)

I was not loved well as a child, or as the young woman that I am now. Since last year, I have only realized just how much I was neglected and abused, and that I still am.

Frankly, God is the only reason I did not end up a Basket Case, but I am still a Hot Mess.

On top of that, I am an Empath, and I feel the suffering of other people very keenly. So, growing up in an emotionally negative house really was stressful for me.

I am also the one who tends to try to hold myself and my family together in a crisis, and this last 8 months has felt like one continuous crisis.

Recognising Depression and Fighting it Off ! - Conceive ...

The Depression showed up 3-4 months ago, probably because the stress continued for so long unabated. At first, I did not feel this way, but the constancy of the situation, and how little it changes it beating me like the ocean beats a stone.

Yeah.. now that I write it out, it kind of seems obvious to me why I feel this way.

Not to mention now we have a National Crisis too, always helpful.

Somehow, I am hanging on to my sanity by prayer, worship, and being able to still laugh at things with my sisters, but it gets tough a lot.

I’m sure I am speaking some of you’s language. Right?

I can’t say for sure why I find it so terrifying to have negative feelings. I remember a lot of times my mom and dad would tell me not to have it, refuse to come and comfort me after a nightmare, and force me to go places that terrified me to go to. With zero reassurance along the way.

I had to tough it out, deal with it myself, and if that ever became too much… well, they might help, but my dad had a way of saying the worst possible thing, and my mom has a way of saying she just doesn’t know how to help.

That led to me feeling my problems are either just too big and complicated to be understood and I shouldn’t be so much to handle…or they are actually way worse than I thought.

So, I tried to solve them myself, or to pray through them.

I was lucky to have a few friends for brief periods of my life that showed me my problems did not have to be overwhelming. But it did not last. I was so hungry to be listened to and not shamed, I quickly got needy, and that lesson has now made me very hesitant to ever open up to people.

That and a few other bad experiences after trying it.

Yep…you know, I’d expect this to be surprising, but I don’t think it is. Anyone whoa voids talking about heir weaknesses as much as I do on this blog is bound to be uncomfortable with it.

I’m not afraid of people judging me, if they did, I’ll laugh it off, I don’t take that very seriously.

What I don’t like it the idea that people might think it’s all I want to talk about, that I live here, that I have no life outside of my issues, and I am very against that.

Part of how I cope, in time where I cannot completely overcome, is by remembering I have interests outside of the areas that trouble me. There’s a world out there, I am a part of it. I enjoy things still. That’s my therapy a lot of the time.

I just can’t stand people who make their problems a badge of honor. To me, they are just problems, if I’m in a good place, I’ve stopped thinking of them as a mark of shame, but I won’t parade them. I hate that.

It was always important to me to be normal, and the realization that my childhood and teenager years were not, in fact, normal, has been a shock. I’m still fighting it, that I could be that jacked up from all that.

50 Fighting Depression Quotes : Battling Depression Quotes

I may not be crazy, or hell bent on destroying my life, but I do have issues.

If Depression is one of them, that’s probably normal.

It’s important to be to choose differently than my dad. He let his Depression and Anxiety push him around, he didn’t try to stop it, he left it up to us to drag him out of the pit, and we couldn’t do it.

I have anger too. I have found that Fear leads to Anger. Anger is like a drug.download (4)

It could have been so much worse, the gladness I still have, even now, is all due to God preserving me. Sometimes (a lot lately) I wish He’d work faster to heal me, and I doubt that He will. Yet, little by little, I am also learning to not give into those thoughts.

Today I have felt pretty bad, but there’s been less intrusive thoughts and less doubt than there was two months ago. One thing the Enemy cannot do, and that is, last forever. There is always an end to it. Every dark time in my life, I came out of into a better grasp of happiness and joy.

This will be one of them, even if it takes a year. (Though, please God, make it shorter than that.)

I am not a quitter, that is the main reason I made it this far, and now I am trying to get counseling. I didn’t want to, but God has sort of impressed on me that it is not right to go through this alone, and I should not have to, I always had to in the past.

World Mental Health Day: 16 famous quotes on fighting depression ...

I guess it’s a change I need to accept, I cannot be a loner anymore. I never wanted to be one anyway. (Hence blogging about it.)

Hey, if you read this far, thanks for your interest in my life. I do like how people are always ready to hear personal stories, it gives me hope social media has not ruined us for understanding each other.

More posts about anime, and life, and whatever else I think of coming soon–stay warm and healthy–Natasha.

 

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