I started this week having a “meltdown” and it ended with my being distraught and confused. I’m left wondering if Heidi’s – and my – suspicion that I may have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is unfounded. I always question my sanity, but it’s far worse at the moment. I can’t help wishing that I hadn’t spoken to Heidi every weekday for the last few months. If I hadn’t she wouldn’t have witnessed the mood swings. She wouldn’t know that one day I am fine (happy even) and the next I want to take my own life. She certainly wouldn’t have witnesses said “meltdown”.
I’ve always managed to keep the inner turmoil secret from the world, no one had to know the madness that exists in my head. Actually I can experience joy and self-harm within hours of each other. Just a negative thought can send me into a spiral that ends with my wanting to die. Sounds so dramatic, but it is actually true. It’s also incredibly exhausting and confusing. I never have a clue which way my day will go.
Saturday the sadness began
I had a week’s annual leave last week. My first opportunity to have some time off work. The shielding rules have relaxed and I can spend time outside and have socially distanced meet ups with friends. Except my week didn’t go as planned. I wasn’t able to see Heidi for a counselling session in her garden. One friend message to cancel due to suspected COVID-19 in the family. One friend went quiet and then said she had been tested for the virus. In short I saw no-one. Three people cancelled and all used the same reason! So obviously they were lying!
I felt lonely and I felt neglected. I questioned as I always do if I really have any friends? Why do I never have anyone, especially when I really need them? Because I am useless. I am unlikeable. I started to feel angry with them. Why do the pretend to be my friend? Why ask to meet up with me if they don’t really want to. I might as well still be shielding!
I sat in the garden and the tears streamed down my face. Why does nobody understand how lonely I have been? The only person I have seen in 6 months, is Alison! I started to feel angry with myself. Why do I have to be me? Why can’t I be a nice person, someone people want to spend time with? I felt agitated, angry, upset. All kinds of emotions rushing in to consume my body and head.
Sunday – all the ways I could kill myself
When I woke up I had the dreaded thought, what will I do with myself today? I hadn’t slept well, and the tiredness and irritability intensified my agitation. The usual pattern began, I could go here. I could do this, or that. All the time the anger and frustration builds. I know I won’t do anything or go anywhere. I am incapable of making a decision. Often I do not have the ability to leave the house. I am useless!
I sat thinking about how sad and lonely I feel. How I want all of this to end. How I just want to die. I don’t want someone to find my body. Cannot bear the thought of someone being traumatised. I remember the hanging, I cannot inflict that on someone else!
So I must think of a way of dying without being found. I could jump into a lake, tie weights to my legs. But I would be unable to swim out into the middle. If I were to hire a boat and jump from the boat, the empty boat will raise the alarm. I could jump from a bridge, but I am not very agile. What about if someone were to see me jump?
I form a plan, find a spot away from civilisation and build a huge circular fire with an entrance for me to walk into. Once constructed, I will douse myself in petrol and walk into the centre of it. Even if someone does spot the flames or smoke, I will be long gone before any help arrives. The fire needs an intense heat so that I literally will burn to nothing, disintegrate. No-one will ever know I was there, all that will remain will be a blackened circle in the earth.
Monday had a “meltdown”
This anger and pain build to levels that I really cannot cope with. I want to explode or rip myself open to release the pressure inside. I usually either lie in my bedroom and cry into my pillow or find a spot where I can scream until my throat cannot take any more. What I never do is let anyone witness what happens to me. I would never tell anyone about it either. I have no desire to be sectioned again! Like yesterday, I do not know what to do with myself! I feel out of control I feel so agitated. What I need is to go for a drive find somewhere and scream my head off.
I will phone Heidi, I cannot Facetime, not today. She cannot see me like this – although I have no words to fully express exactly what this is!
Things didn’t go to plan. I could not find a place to scream. I could not decide where to go. The anger and frustration were totally unbearable. I had no desire to speak to Heidi by now, but I was also scared of cancelling. The fear added to the anger. The pressure was of the scale unbearable.
I parked my car in a quiet street and called her. But as soon as I heard her voice I became angry with her too. I couldn’t win or escape! A car came and parked behind me; I was infuriated! I drove off screaming at the top of my lungs, forgetting that Heidi could hear me. Heidi told me to stop the car, tried to calm me down and then asked me to drive to her house. I cannot be totally sure what I said, but I know how much I regret it!
Tuesday the Shame
I think I exhausted myself and the anger eventually subsided, burnt itself out. I am left drained and confused. The shame is real, without really knowing what I am ashamed of. How can I face Heidi? What did I say? What did I do? I am so embarrassed. What must she think? Will see be annoyed or upset with me? What if she tells me I am mad, that she cannot help someone like me? The fear and anger rumble in the pit of my stomach. What I would give, to not be me!
Wish more than anything that I could go back, that I had not seen or spoken to Heidi yesterday. I am angry at myself. Like I have shown a side of me that must always remain hidden. I have failed myself. I don’t want to look at her face, don’t want to see her disappointment in me. Wince at the thought of her looking at me. What the hell does she see? I want to run, to hide, to pretend this didn’t happen!
At least today is only 30 minutes by Facetime, I can manage that.
Wednesday the question “Is it depression?”
Today Heidi blurts out “I wonder if you have been misdiagnosed”. What the hell does that mean! “What are you saying?” I ask. “Well, I just wonder if there is more to this than depression.” I am confused. I knew this would happen! I let her see the true me and now she thinks I am mad. She suggests I look up my symptoms, do some research and see what I find. I’m angry! I frequently deny I am depressed, but obviously if I look up my symptoms, it will lead me to this answer. I am not researching, what is the point?
Of course I do what she asked. Of course I must act on a instruction, although she would say she didn’t instruct me, merely suggested. I half heartedly start to research. I investigate mood swings. A symptom that I have only just realised I have.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
I find myself reading about BPD, on the Mind website the following is taken from their webpage.
You may be diagnosed if you experience five of the following:
- Worry about abandonment ❓
- Intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few days and can change quickly ✅
- You don’t have a strong sense of who you are and it can change depending on who you’re with ✅
- Find it hard to make and keep stable relationships ❓ – not sure whether to tick but probably should
- Feel empty a lot of the time – ❓ not sure
- Act impulsively – binge eat, gamble, drugs or drive dangerously ✅
- Often self harm or have suicidal feelings ✅Intense feelings of anger which are really difficult to control ✅
- When stressed paranoia or dissociation ❌
I email Heidi the above along with the note below:
I would say my mood swings have been much worse since I lost my brother and received the heart diagnosis. How could I have got to my age and never been diagnosed? That said when I was younger I couldn’t explain myself and since then I have avoided asking for help! I have visited several websites and completed the online tests – not that I believe these too much but I score very high.
Please don’t laugh but I have read a lot about it and I really think I may have BPD! Even if I don’t have this, the page reflects how I feel more than anything else I have ever read. I’m both scared and worried about this….
Thursday – Do I have BPD?
I find another web page Do You Have “Quiet BPD”?
When I read it, the statements reflect me perfectly, I am convincing myself. But I am pacified, this cannot be true. I will see Heidi today, she will say “Of course you don’t have BPD!” But that isn’t what she said. Instead she said she had read my email and she agrees. She has suspected that is what I have and is relieved that I think the same. WHAT???!!!!! What is she saying?! This isn’t supposed to happen! She says that she is not qualified to diagnose me, that I will need to see a psychiatrist, should I want a formal Diagnosis.
She goes on to tell me, she spoke about it with her supervisor, that for now only the three of us need to know. But eventually she should notify my GP. Why has she spoken to her supervisor, when she hasn’t spoken to me? Why did she ask me to do the research? What it I had come up with some other random answer, would she have agreed with that too?
What am I supposed to do with this? I have never accepted or admitted to anyone I struggle with depression. Always afraid of the stigma and what people will think. There is absolutely no way I want this label.
I am stunned and angry. Can I even trust Heidi? She hasn’t been honest with me. Maybe not quite lied to me, but that is a technicality. Why is she doing this to me.
I spent the rest of the day in tears, alone and confused. I can’t even talk to anyone about this, there is no way I will ever admit this to anyone!
Friday – I am so angry with Heidi
I couldn’t sleep last night. Couldn’t stop replaying this week over in my head. All of this was happening because I had let her see my meltdown! I was angry with Heidi and I was fuming with myself! I was also scared, although cannot be sure of what. Of Heidi saying that’s it, you are too difficult for me to help you. Of being given another label. I don’t know, anything and everything at the moment made me afraid.
I had anxiety about speaking to Heidi today. The usual conflict went on inside my head for much of the morning. I was angry, what if I called and said something to her that I would late regret? What if I didn’t call and never speak to her again. If I have BPD surely I will need help, and if so it is her help that I would want. What if I call and she cancels our sessions? I am not sure I could cope. What if I call and she doesn’t answer?
The list of what if’s were endless. My anxiety through the roof. Once again I don’t know what to so. I am stuck in the middle of a no-win situation!
I called her. But I was so upset and yet again I couldn’t bear her to look at me, or me her. I think I may have ranted at her. I am not really sure. Sometimes it feels like I blank things out. My good memory is no more. Why can’t I recall exactly what was said? I think she was kind, and I think she put my reaction down to shock.
I hope Heidi will be there next week
The fact is, I do not deserve Heidi. I’m not worthy of her help. I hate what she has to put up with. I wish I could be a better client, much less hard work. But I can’t be, I just don’t know how. And also, trying to be someone else, being whatever I think people want me to be, has got me into this situation. Trying to fit has made me lose my own identity. I have worked so hard on working out who I am. I’ve just discovered I am human and I am a Woman, thanks to Heidi. I really thought we were getting somewhere and now this!
What if I have really upset her or made her angry? This week has been horrendous, what if it were for her too? What if she is not there next week? I am starting to panic and I have the entire weekend to get through.