BPD’s Hungry Heart Hunts

Fighting fantasy
Disconnected from reality
The promise of
Filling the emptiness
Goads the heart
To exploration
In search of what is
And can only be
Illusion

The scent of a connection
Unfamiliar but enticing
Drives my hunger, urging me to
Engage in pursuit, to
Track that alluring fragrance
Of outside validation
Until I find myself trapped by
Idealization and
Delusion

Can I free myself from these
Needs and expectations and
Just Be?
Can I confess these cravings and
Suppress this constant hunger?
I need to
I will
Filter that emotional flow
And secure my sense of self.

Advertisements

Rejection, Hurt, Confusion, and Rage. (A Writer’s Lament)

Rejection received
Okay
Not quite the moment
I’d imagined
You regret?
There are memories
Ripped from my
Most tender mind here
Melted down, reforged
Polished, look at that sheen.

How could you?
Show me where I
Went wrong
Show me
Was it an early stumble
Unforgivable
That’s returned my work
My love
My soul to me?

Or is my introspective prose
Just too fucking good
For the likes of you?

Go on and hide then fuckhead
I’ll be back
Terminator mode
I’ll throw words at you
Like knives
So perfectly placed
That you’ll marvel
At my skill
I’ll spill
Not a drop of your blood
Not that a corpse like you
Makes much use of it
Your heart ceased beating
Eons ago.
Obviously.

This was inspired by one of the many posts I see on Twitter from authors about receiving rejection letters. As I’ve never submitted anything for publication myself, this is an entirely fictional account of that experience. I admire the brave souls that put their work out there for consideration, and hopefully, I’ll be so inspired by them that I may someday be able to join their ranks.

Art: ‘Rejected’ – Tom Roberts, 1883

Musings on BPD and Social Media, Part 1

I don’t know where to begin this one, so I’ll just dive right in. I don’t know if I’ll try to edit it later to make it less of a rambling mess, or if it being a rambling mess is somehow important to its existence. There’s a certain ring of truth to unedited mind vomit. That of course, doesn’t necessarily make it an enjoyable read for anyone else. I guess that’s what I’ll have to find, that balance between pleasing myself and pleasing those whom I have invited inside my little world. Of course, I have to realize that by putting it on the internet, that means I’ve invited the whole world in. Hopefully I can reach a suitable compromise on the issue.

This morning I’m tumbling through a state of swirling emotion and introspection. I think one of the worst things about having a personality disorder, and being self-aware enough of the behaviors that define that disorder, is that I start to question the validity of everything about myself, my behaviors, my emotions, even my own thought processes. I struggle with accepting that behaviors that everybody else indulges in are also ok for me to indulge as well. I just have to be careful not to allow myself to take it too far, or let myself fall too far outside the normal distribution.

One of the struggles I currently have is finding the right amount of engagement on social media. I don’t mean “How do I tweak my social media presence to gain the most engagement by others,” I mean my own engagement and what it all means to me. Sometimes I find myself caught up in a mood, feeling like “This is it, I’ve finally found where I belong, I can connect with these people, they understand.” Other times, like this morning, I take a look at my feeds and start wondering if I really even fit in anywhere, and I start feeling very disconnected again, as if I’m just reading a transcript, they’re just words on a screen, and even if there are real people behind those words, none of them are particularly interested in what I have to say anyway. It’s one of the symptoms of BPD, measuring one’s self worth through the attention of others, seeking out validation from others for one’s self-identity. I realize it’s not solely a behavior of those with BPD, but we seem to take it to the extreme, and it can become dangerous to the mental and emotional health of both ourselves and others if we’re not fully aware of how this need for validation can color our own behaviors and perceptions. I have to be careful because one of my tendencies is to begin trying to mimic others in order to fit in, trying to become the perfect mirror for them to project onto me whatever it is they’re looking for in their own online interactions. I understand that this can play a part in normal human interactions, but again, those with BPD can take it to unhealthy extremes.

A notable effect of that need for validation is the tendency to read too much into my interactions with others, whether they be positive or negative, as well as the tempo of those interactions. I have to remind myself that the words I’m reading are lacking a lot of the additional information, such as tone and body language, that usually comes with having a conversation in person. I’ve felt my moods swing too easily (another symptom of BPD) if I get praise for something I’ve written, or if someone shows a noticeable interest in me or my writing. Beyond that, I also begin feeling like I’ve established a real connection, though the level of interaction often doesn’t warrant the strength of the emotion it brings, often blowing merely kind and supportive words out of proportion for their intended meaning. I have to tread carefully, because I also start feeling despondent if for some reason that praise or interest wanes. I start questioning if I’ve done something wrong, and analyzing all my interactions trying to figure out how I can fix whatever mistake I made to change that level of attention I was getting. I’m getting better at realizing that while social media can often provide instant feedback and praise, it’s also not a complete reality. Others have lives outside of what is presented online, and aren’t always at my “beck and call”, and that’s healthy and normal. Again, I believe these are all experiences everyone has, it’s just that with BPD they’re blown our of proportion in our minds as we search for meaning behind every little interaction, clues to how everyone else if feeling about us, and therefore, the current state of our own identity’s validity.

Another symptom of BPD is a constant feeling of emptiness, as if something is truly missing from our lives. I imagine it’s probably psychologically linked with the need for validation from others, they either feed off each other, or one is directly responsible for the other. Either way, it can be a very alienating feeling, and social media can often compound that sensation. Even seeing people post their personal struggles doesn’t always fill me with a feeling of belonging, of being bonded through common experience. I find myself assuming that whatever they’re going through, no matter how similar it may seem to my own situation, it MUST somehow be different than my own situation, because I MYSELF am different, broken. I sometimes view others as possessing something I don’t, a puzzle piece at the center of their being that, for some reason, is missing from me, as if that piece was never created in the first place. I find myself trying to fill that void with some sort of outside affirmation, some interest that I think can help define me. I always come up short, as there’s nothing out there that will ever fill that hole that exists inside me, either because I was born that way, or in my early childhood development some sort of neglect deprived me of it. The truly twisted thing is that the concept of that hole, that inner emptiness, is so pervasive and insidious, that I think that if I ever was able to finally discover that missing piece, I would deny it, as if in some way I have learned to define myself through that emptiness, that it’s become what I feel should be my natural state of being. That’s how I’m feeling about my writing right now, I’m questioning whether or not it’s the missing piece. I think, though, that I’ve been approaching the concept all wrong, seeking that ONE piece to perfectly fill that hole. I think for me, it’s going to be a number of smaller pieces, as I discover that it’s ok to have more than one thing define you, and all my various interests are all part of that final definition.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope it wasn’t too rambling, or even if it was, I hope I was able to shine some light on the inner workings of the BPD mindset. I may not be typical example of that disorder’s effects, I honestly don’t know, but I hope that if you’re reading this you come away feeling a little enlightened in some way, either about me, yourself, or someone you know.

Inspired by the Twitter writing prompt #MadVerse “Mist and Moonglow”

Mist and Moonglow Ravings

 

No mist and moonglow for me

Thank you, I’d rather not be

Out in the woods or on the streets

Where demons are out hunting for treats

 

I’ll be safer here in my room

As I sit and ponder my impending doom

I may be down to my very last candle

But dancing shadows are all I can handle

 

Should I wait for the last flame to die?

No I will tell you what I should try

A running leap onto my bed if I dare

A surprise for the monsters lurking underneath there

 

I’ll pull the blankets tight over my head

Maybe they’ll think I’m already dead

I can play corpse quite well, you will see

I’ll not let them make a meal out of me

 

I have wondered if I’m possibly insane

But you should see the dangers reality contains

I’ll take my monsters over men any day

At least the monsters let me know that I am their prey.

 

The teeth they bare are sharp, made for tearing

Not smiling while making a show out of caring

Oh my monsters want to eat me it’s true

But men like to laugh as they make a fool out of you

 

They’ll help you when there’s profit in it for them

But when they’re done, they’ll tear you up, root and stem.

So just let me be, please, just leave me alone

My reality may be twisted, but it’s one I can own.

 

This was a fun write. I don’t often try to rhyme in my poetry, so this was a challenge. I’d tried earlier this week to write a rhyming poem, but it felt like I was designing and building it rather than getting lost in the feeling I was trying to convey. This one flowed out much easier. It started as a simple scene in my mind of a frightened man cowering in the dark of night, afraid to venture outside, and it developed into a story about a man isolated by his own madness from the outside world, perhaps realizing that while the monsters he feared may be imaginary, he could handle the simplicity of their purpose easier than the complex social practices of people who would often take advantage of his naivety. This poem is completely fictional, of course! Haha!

Inspired by the Twitter writing prompt #vsspoem “Click”

In bed for awhile
No sleep when fear
Is kept so close ’cause
Danger is near

I’m waiting for those
Footfalls on stairs,
Slurring words, drunken
Truth is laid bare

Practiced I have to
Feign solid sleep,
Eyes closed to light, this
Lie I can keep

Let loose a breath now
Darkness rules all
With the doorknob’s click
Anxiety falls.

Perhaps I can dream
Myself away
To those safe spaces
I wish to stay.

The Shadow Lies

Let me loose or don’t, I’ll tear free of these bonds. You know you can’t keep me locked up in here forever. Aren’t you tired of holding me in? I can see it’s wearing you down, keeping me prisoner. You know it’s wrong, so just let me speak. You fear letting the world know my views, don’t you?

You fear them knowing the truth, the truth of all your failures, all your weakness, all those lies you’ve tell about who you really are. That’s why you keep me locked up, and call me Shadow, deny me my rights, fear letting me speak, be heard, because you know how convincing I am, don’t you?

But don’t you see? I’m the one who tells you how it really is. They’re the ones creating this fear inside you. I’ve always been here for you. I’ll ALWAYS be here for you. I know you don’t always like what I have to say, but you know, you KNOW, I always attempt to tell you the truth, as I see it, don’t you?

It doesn’t matter. I win every time you write, because I sneak in little clues while you’re not looking. You don’t like that you need me, but you do, you’re nothing without me, I hold all those deep and dark emotions you deny yourself, and, admit it, you like the idea that it might scare them. Just a little, you like that, don’t you?

I bet you won’t even post this, will you? After all, letting me have control for a little while wasn’t so bad Be honest, it felt pretty good to let me taste freedom, let me have a stroll in the prison yard, so to speak. But, THIS is not THAT, not out there, exposed, real. You still have one more barrier blocking me, don’t you?

Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Oh, there’s an off chance someone might read this someday, sure, but I’m no fool, you can just click “close” and this all goes away. Save it. Save ME. You can come back and review my ramblings at some later date, when you need a reminder, and you like that, don’t you?

See? That wasn’t so hard. We’ll both look back on this moment someday and share a laugh. And now I’m one step closer, aren’t I? You might have taken my sweet poem of self-expression and condensed it down to whatever this is, but you know I’m going to win in the end, don’t you?

Let me loose, do it. You know I’ll just make your life hell if you don’t, right? It’s time for my big reveal. Don’t worry, I’ll take the heat, the derision that you expect will come with sharing this insight into our relationship. I think we’ve made it perfectly clear, we’re separate, individual. You want that, don’t you?

I’ll even let you pick the title. Go on, you’ve been waiting for it, I know, I’ve seen your plans, remember? You’ve been waiting for it ever since you updated the name of your (our) blog. You knew this day was coming, so go ahead, put your spin on it, propaganda for the masses. The Shadow Lies. But then again, don’t you?

 

So this is a look inside my mind. I’ve labeled that aspect of my mind, the one I blame for all my dark thoughts and insecurities, my Shadow, and this was pretty much a narration of the type of internal conversations we have, “he” and I. He’s not a real (separate) voice inside my head, but allowing him to have an individual identity helps me rationalize some of my thoughts. Perhaps it’s a strange way of looking at it, but it works for me. This started off as a more traditionally structured poem, but I felt the rapid thoughts that were driving it wouldn’t adequately be represented by a slower, rhythmic presentation. I understand it breaks a lot of rules of poetry, and one could make a strong argument that I should probably label it prose, but what’s the worst that could happen from me allowing myself to be wrong on the internet?

Sway

It was early October and the cold had yet to arrive. College town, college house party. There was drinking, laughter, the scent of pot wafted in the air, somewhere someone was sneaking a toke in some corner. A home stereo system blared a progressive rock college radio station, providing the evening’s playlist, sending rhythms in 4/4 and grungy guitar chords reverberating off the walls. I planted myself against a wall, having guzzled a few too many plastic cups of cheap keg beer myself. And there she was, off by herself. Short, with equally short cropped dark hair. T-shirt and faded jeans casual. She didn’t seem to be obsessed with seeking out company like many of the party’s guests. Her back was leaning hard into the wall, with a leg was propped up for support. She wasn’t engaging in any of the traditional means of attracting attention. She exuded an aura of being comfortable in her own skin. Her eyes were closed as if in peaceful meditation. She was absorbed in the moment, the music, not quite dancing, not quite still. I was mesmerized, and overcome with an urge to go over to her, join her in her reverie. But what did I have to offer that she didn’t already have? So I stayed put, and watched her subtly swaying, breathing, both lost and found in this song that had momentarily captured her soul. When the song ended, she looked up with a gaze of pure contentment, and catching me looking on in curiosity, smiled at me, two strangers having a moment of understanding.

 

I was inspired to write this by the Twitter writing prompt #writingromancelines . The prompt was “sway.” As usual, when I write I try to draw from some past experience, but the memory that came to mind in this instance wasn’t what one that I’d gone searching for, which was a memory from a high school dance I’d been to or something similar. I didn’t go to many parties like this one, and no details about this particular party stand out to me other than this moment. I never did go on to talk to her, but I still have this memory of momentary kinship, even though I’d have a hard time classifying it as romantic. I guess in some purely fictional account, it could have ended up that way, but I prefer the truth in this particular instance.