Through The Looking Glass.Ppt


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An inside look of Borderline Personality Disorder - A "Self" Advocacy

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Through The Looking Glass.Ppt

  1. 1. The Looking Glass – A “Self” Advocacy My experience with having Borderline Personality Disorder began when I was born. My awareness of those experiences is currently less than two years in age. My research on the matter has led me to conclude that few are able to express these experiences. Those within, myself included, often have difficulty expressing adequately, and those on the outside are easily categorized into two groups: those who believe what you are about to read, and those that do not. Only you will know if any content in this site applies to you. Please do not expend your energy informing me that I have made any claims regarding you personally. I do not know you, and so could not possibly do so. Keep in mind, you do not know me either. Moonlight EXIT INDEX
  2. 2. The Looking Glass INDEX Know One Thing Physics Believe We Know Without Notice Understand - Differently It‟s Not “Real” Look Inside See What You Cannot Difference How Could You? Gone Gone Too All Gone Time What Will You Do Differently? Losing the Battle Because We are at War Extremes Commonalities Self – Not Mood The True Fight Coping When You Cannot Our Language Insanity? Needs Don‟t Believe More Everything You Think You Know HOME EXIT Moonlight
  3. 3. The Looking Glass The “Looking Glass,” of course refers to the topsy- turvy world that people with BPD enter into that scares the Hell out of them and wreaks havoc and chaos in the lives of those around them. The term is somewhat borrowed from literature, but is an old common term for mirrors. The bipolarity of thought that coincides with BPD experiences and the comings and goings of such enormous facets of our very identity to a place where Non-BPDs have a hard time believing even exists makes the mirrored world an ideal representation to illustrate some of what we experience. HOME EXIT INDEX
  4. 4. Commonalities I will not pretend to know first-hand the exact perspective of the Non-BPD, just as I ask that you believe you cannot know ours. I can tell you that BPD‟s and Non‟s most assuredly share common experiences. The clarity of seeing which ones are shared and which ones are not is crucial to understanding as best as possible. To love someone and see them in pain is incredibly agonizing. To be spited by someone you love and are trying to help is too. To remain in the life of BPD, you have probably already questioned yourself on a regular basis. “What can I do? What should I not do? Is this going to upset him/her? Or, if I don‟t do it, will it upset him/her?” And to remain in the situation that is typical of a relationship where one has BPD, dependencies, co-dependencies, insecurities, fears, pain, fatigue, emotional and physical exhaustion are all part of your daily life. And yet you remain. You are a caring, well-meaning, intelligent, giving, and otherwise-stable person. And yet the situation continues. You have dedicated yourself to help. You have sacrificed much and have allowed the disorder to become part of every aspect of your life. The person with BPD made sure of this. They are desperately seeking relief and have prioritized this search above and beyond everything else. So, in efforts to support, you prioritize it to. You suffer. They suffer. Those around you suffer. And then, every so often, you get to look through the looking glass at the person on the “other” other side. All the while, they are in constant fear knowing the mirror will reflect as it always does, just as you are aware of it too. HOME EXIT INDEX
  5. 5. Believe I have experienced losses in physical abilities that range from my foot falling asleep, to sheer exhaustion due to various factors including surgeries, drunkenness, medications and street-drugs, not eating or drinking, and sleep deprivation. When the ability to perform an action is gone, it is not as if we have a reserve tank to utilize until we get to the next gas station. Cognitive abilities are no different, even if only gone intermittently. Storage, recall, beliefs, thoughts and entire personalities are much more fragile than people are able to realize unless they experience the fragility first-hand. If you cannot experience BPD from the inside, you are the fortunate one. Given the bizarre nature of it, you are left only with your imagination and trust. Believe. HOME EXIT INDEX
  6. 6. Know One Thing You cannot be there with us. You can only make your best effort to understand what we describe to you. Cellular biology teaches us of the various cell walls that allow for entrance of certain molecules and not others. If you have not read Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, do so; it helps. But unlike the escaped cave dweller, we cannot describe our experiences or reality adequately because it defies any consistency that allows for description. Socrates: Know that you do not know. HOME EXIT INDEX
  7. 7. Our Language While many people with BPD have learned enough of the human language to communicate with some effectiveness, there still remain tremendous amounts of differences in the definitions, translations, and interpretations of words and ideas. My experiences in this world make more sense to me when I realize these differences. As in any language or cultural clash, there will no doubt forever be differences that opposing views will not or cannot understand. BPD people tend to get frustrated with this language barrier. When suffering, and a lack of communication about the suffering exist, the suffering becomes increasingly worse as does the frustration. Rage, self-harm, violence, cruel words, drug use, yelling, and crying are those ineffective forms that BPDs resort to during their times of frustration. It reminds me of people who I have witnessed speaking English louder so that the non-English speaking person will understand it. It makes no logical sense, but many people do it. The simple fact is, that when BPDs speak, few are willing or able to listen. Those that do get so quickly burned out that they soon either leave or retaliate with their own unhealthy responses. HOME EXIT INDEX
  8. 8. Understand - Differently Non-BPDs speak of their hardships and struggles. They complain about normal life difficulties and typically result in asking, “What about me?” They read support and self-help books to keep them from drowning in nonsensical world of the BPD person. They indulge in descriptions and strategies that are inaccurate and ineffective which frustrates them further. They read of coping skills for them to exist with and support us. Then the human side of them surfaces when we are burning to a crisp in our anguish, and they are upset because of the odor and smoke. “Can‟t you burn someplace else?” “What about me?” Many mean well. They give and they give and they give. And they do suffer. The very same human qualities that have gone berserk in the BPD person surface in the Non-BPD people. Finally, they speak our language. The barrier has been broken. They are angry now. They do cry. They seem to feel. Wait a minute, they are not destroying themselves, their relationships with those they love, or cutting or burning themselves to feel better. It was all just an illusion to believe they were like us. They do not have the pain and madness so they cannot comprehend it. Without comprehension, there is no understanding. HOME EXIT INDEX
  9. 9. Insanity? Some of the greatest philosophers, spiritualists, and physicists of all time have concluded that knowing that we might not know something is a central key to understanding. This idea essentially drives many religions, philosophy and theoretical physics. Why is it that people who are considered to be sane and well continue to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results? HOME EXIT INDEX
  10. 10. Difference Non-BPDs struggle through life not unlike the ancients and poets have written about. They experience losses, grief, pain, frustration, anger and challenges. They may even experience trauma, abuse, depression, betrayal, abandonment, etc. But to BPDs – who only wish to have these things alone to contend with – they can seem quite trivial. To the Non-BPDs, it makes logical sense to see triteness in the BPD‟s concerns, anguish and pain. We only complain of the fire. No one ever actually sees the flames. In reality, they cannot even complain about the smoke and heat. Try as they may, it comes down to complaining about our complaints. That is not to say that we do not exhibit behaviors that cause immense pain and suffering of others. Suffering is relative though. Unfortunately the suffering of the Non-BPD only serves as a catalyst to the BPD‟s continuing nightmare. HOME EXIT INDEX
  11. 11. Physics We are taken – physically taken. We do not consciously choose to go. It is a frightening, maddening, painful place. I have read many accounts from Nons and BPDs alike that hold some fantastical relationship between the subconscious and choice. I have learned of Hindu and bio-feedback methods that allow for altered states of consciousnesses. I realize (I believe, enough of) the intricacies involved in chemical reactions in the brain and how these chemicals can be stimulated by thought. I also know that some brains do not function on a cellular level as they were intended to. Chemicals may flow, adequately or not. Receptors may utilize or not. Neuropathways may be physically constructed and deconstructed over time. But, I repeat; we are taken – physically taken. Nons speak as if we have “gone” somewhere. Understand that we do go. Like a reverse wind tunnel or a huge magnet, we get swooped up in the blink of an eye. Our travels in and out are so frequent that we oftentimes do not recognize which side of the mirror we are on. We find ourselves in a realm where logic and reality take on different forms. To survive, we must do as you do to survive in your world. We try and relate to it the best we can. We try to make sense of it. Even reverse is reverse. When we understand and apply the new logic, the logic changes. We face what you face when you are dealing with us. You have the awesome experience of looking into the mirror seeing what is left of us at these times. But you see no mirror. You only see what you think is us thinking, talking and behaving strangely, cruelly or even dangerously. HOME EXIT INDEX
  12. 12. It’s Not “Real” Each time we are taken into the abyss that resides in the reflection, we are told that this is not happening and things are not real. Has anyone given much thought to how they would react if they were terrified and all they got was the “comforting” response that “this isn’t real?” HOME EXIT INDEX
  13. 13. We Know We know what we do. We know how we are. We know what we cause. We know what you do for us. We are very much like you. We have that human part in us too. We shake our heads in wondering frustration too. We see in the looking glass as well as out of it, though it may be foggy and vague. Our mental battle against the physical forces makes us look weak. Our character, our needs, our cruelty, our immaturity, is all part of a reverse reflection. But we are spoken to and treated as if this is us. We have a normal side. The normal side is disgusted with ourselves and the condition we cannot escape. HOME EXIT INDEX
  14. 14. See What You Cannot See the looking glass. Know and believe it is there. See that we are gone. Know and believe we are taken. Do not be afraid and do not be mad at us. Do not allow your fears of us to leave us inside the mirror. Are you threatened? Do you think you will be cut? Burned? Killed? If so, by all means, run. Call for help. You draw your sword to protect yourself. Human nature. Realize that we are experiencing an altered state. We are trying to protect ourselves. We will even take our own lives to do so. The clutches of the invisible mirror are strong. The more we struggle, the tighter it holds. Eventually, we break through only out of exhaustion. When we are free, we discover the consequences of what occurred during our visit to Hell, which typically includes a doubting-Thomas who is upset, confused and has lost a little more faith and love in and for us. HOME EXIT INDEX
  15. 15. Without Notice My learned coping skill (going into the looking glass) occurs without notice. No one counts to ten and hypnotizes me, and what is worse, no one snaps me out of it. There is a sporadic, spontaneous snatching. I never know when it will occur or even when it has already sometimes. Vaguely remembering encounters. Vaguely remembering the aftermath and its residuals. Then to be met with an exhausted support system that berates us for thinking, saying and doing things that occur within a dissociative, fugue-like state. HOME EXIT INDEX
  16. 16. Look Inside Looking through the looking glass from the inside out, people in general appear strange. Faces contort as if alien-like. Eyes, ears, noses, mouths, all look just enough out of place and proportion to bring a distorted face that resembles an abstract Picasso portrait. Even pictures of people that should be familiar to me look different. People become somewhat caricature-like. Smells are disturbing. People in particular smell horrible. Just the smells in a room, or the air outside is foul. Many memories simply vanish. While there are empty periods of time making it obvious that memories are missing, attempts to retrieve them or build from one memory to the next so as to piece them together and draw more memories in just does not happen. Where I am physically doesn‟t seem to make sense at times. Big picture sorts of facts, for instance, living in a particular place, working at a particular place, being with a particular person. Often, I experience the sensation of the ground under me moving as I walk in place. My physical point of reference is inconsistent. My eyes tunnel view, and sometimes from a perspective that really should not be coming from where my eyes are physically located. Like looking from the side of your head rather than the front all of a sudden. Instantaneously, people who were the ones you loved become strangers with an odd familiarity. HOME EXIT INDEX
  17. 17. Gone The “self” changes. Not entirely, but significantly enough to have polar opposite beliefs and feelings for people. The mirrored self hates who they loved possibly only moments before. The spite for the very things that bring pleasure on one side of the mirror brings about a maddening rage. On the inside, we ask the same questions we ask from the outside. “Why am I here? Why did I say/do this or that? How could I love this person? Why do I hurt so badly? Who is the „real‟ me?” These questions may seem trite to those not profoundly in midst of the pain of answering them over and over again in BPD nightmare. When we are gone, it is not us that you are looking at or listening to or arguing with. HOME EXIT INDEX
  18. 18. Gone Too You are not there either. We see a stranger. The person we loved has disappeared too. We are arguing with a replacement that we only see and believe in their bad qualities and more. Do you leave in your experiences? HOME EXIT INDEX
  19. 19. Time In or out of the looking glass, continuity of time does not exist. Never quite fully aware of the passing of time - all just one long moment. One long moment in the dark - one long moment in the light. Then we have to adjust to the reality of the world where the clocks tick and people have things to do. Sometimes we can achieve fitting in despite the lack of time orientation but the efforts are extraordinary and routinely exhausting. HOME EXIT INDEX
  20. 20. Self – Not Mood It has been said that the more people an individual interacts with, the more facets of their personality they are able to experience and explore. Being human has a certain multiplicity to it innately when it comes to having an identity. We have secrets. We have “personal” lives. Most of us become - almost – other people depending on who we may be interacting with: our children, our ex-significant others, our parents, our bosses, our boss‟ boss, our friends, the cashier at the store, the waiter, the person interviewing us for employment, a pastor, someone we like and want them to like us, etc. It is a very human experience. People with BPD experience this as well. Keeping in mind that we are people and also have and cope with typical experiences would be an excellent mantra for the supporter. From the outside, even those acutely in tune with BPD seem to see only the polar ends. The spectrum of existence in between the poles is nothing short of the cause of the feeling of insanity. The threads that tie the out- skirted extremes do so just enough to make us aware of our madness. HOME EXIT INDEX
  21. 21. Extremes We are not normal, and then go to an extreme. We only have extremes. The “normal” witnessed, may be only an extreme sense of not having any emotional attachment to anybody or anything, past, present or future. We sometimes get a break from the emotional ties and we appear at peace. But each of us awaits the next episode. Each of us claws around in our memories to recall the last one. Each of us tries to once again re-evaluate the past, present or future on – at the very least – a subconscious level. We may appear to be at peace, but we know as well as you what is lurking in the mirror. HOME EXIT INDEX
  22. 22. What Will You Do Differently? Unfortunately, Non-BPDs (generally defined as one who is involved with a BPD person in some fashion) sometimes become the BPD‟s worse enemy. Yet they are the people that have the nearest intimacy to the disorder and they are the ones who are supposed to be healthy. For many, the only true complication in their life that go above and beyond the normal challenges faced in living is the person who has BPD. HOME EXIT INDEX
  23. 23. Losing the Battle Because We are at War Our brains are soldered to fight people – even those who love and are doing everything they can for us. What are your brains soldered to do? The same? We need help. We are losing. You are losing too. We are experienced in pain. We know you experience much of it because of us. Help us. Help us by using your intellect. Include only the emotions of love and compassion. Many of us will wind up in prison. Or perhaps we will find someone to be dependent on. We will continue to die a little more each day. One in ten will take their own life.. HOME EXIT INDEX
  24. 24. The True Fight Understand true insanity. To expect different results, something must be done differently. There is an overwhelming amount of research in existence that purports recovery methods. Weed through the nonsense and make good judgments about what applies to each individual. Fight for us and along side of us. Help us to shatter this infernal looking glass so it doesn‟t continue to shatter us and those we know. HOME EXIT INDEX
  25. 25. Coping – When You Cannot We hate ourselves for what spews out of our mouths. We are so ashamed of our words, thoughts, behaviors and our very “selves.” We cannot even regain eye contact with you for days at a time! You can continue to take this personally, or you can begin to see it for what it is and decide to love us entirely so you will be motivated to actually help us, not just exhausting yourself trying to. When we cope by not saying anything at all, because we know we are unable to do so without hurting you, we are condemned – sometimes for days – for doing so. This condemnation – along with the guilt for what we have done and said – only serves to fuel our own condemnation. Because projection and condemnation help us feel less pain, I assume it helps you too. Perhaps, if you were not with a person with BPD, you would be able to utilize that particular coping skill, just like the one of isolating yourself physically, emotionally, or intellectually. But you must see that with us, we must look for coping skills that work for both of us. Or, we could continue the way things are. This technique, which is indeed a struggle to maintain, is referred to in much BPD literature as “pouting.” The arduous task of controlling ourselves in this manner, let alone our realizing that it is the only way, is responded to with punitive reactions. HOME EXIT INDEX
  26. 26. Needs We, the disordered, understand more than you the depths of the meaning of “black and white” thinking. It is a cliché used to provoke a vision of comfort to those not suffering and having a psychological need to believe they understand what it means. HOME EXIT INDEX
  27. 27. How Could You? We are asked to maintain an awareness of the here and now. We are asked to self-hypnotize. We are asked to meditate. We are asked to replace thoughts, as well as entire entities, and realities with polar opposites! Both, in and out of the mirror! Would you be able to convince yourself entirely that you were someone else? How would you respond to people telling you that your current ideas, thoughts, convictions, pleasures, relationships were all a concoction of a mental disorder? Suppose you had some crazy, fuzzy, recollection that this was true? Suppose you remember being both identities – separate, yet attached with thin threads. Suppose you rode the ride along the spectrum from one pole to the other, hitting each and every point along the way. Would you get up each morning and live the life you are currently living? Would you maintain relationships? Would you be afraid to be around people? Would you have any anxiety? Would you be able to go to work, never knowing when or where you will be at any “moment” in time along the spectrum? How would your priorities change? Would your physical health seem very meaningful to you? Would washing dishes be a concern? Would you be frustrated? Angry? HOME EXIT INDEX
  28. 28. More It is more than learning. We have learned. It is more than understanding. We understand. We do not have at our avail what is necessary to experience a continuity of memories, feelings, beliefs, self, you or time. HOME EXIT INDEX
  29. 29. All Gone Know that while you watch your loved one disappear, it is your loved one that is going though the glass. Their entire world changes, including their “self” and you. As they return, they are still experiencing the trauma of the very event itself. Trying to land on their feet when they fall through the glass in exhaustion. We do not only leave. Everything is taken from us: our memories, our education, our work history, our accomplishments, our loved ones, our identities, our very minds. There are times when everything is gone, and there are times when only the bad stays. We think, “Surely, this cannot be.” And we are right; we are just very unsure about us being right, and cannot convince ourselves that what is “real” is not real. When someone pulls a memory from me that I am not able to pull with all of my might, I simultaneously experience the present with and without that memory. Both are real - the event occurring and it not occurring. It is through the viscosity of the glass that I am swimming through. A bit of each side. HOME EXIT INDEX
  30. 30. Don’t Believe Everything You Think You Know It is our senses that empower the triggers. We interpret benign thoughts, images, words, actions and inactions as being threats to our very life. Eliminating triggers is not the answer. Everything can be, and often everything is a trigger. That is why what you do or do not do, say or do not say, seems so fruitless to you. Our brains will take any sensory input and modify to fit our engrained schema. True help is finding out what is needed to get our brains to stop doing this. HOME EXIT INDEX
  31. 31. Moonlight The Sun never truly leaves and that there is no Moonlight. There remains – intermittently - only a reflection of what we must believe in when we no longer see it. How many people still – and forever will - believe that the Moon shines? HOME EXIT INDEX