fighting my inner demons

"Working things through for me...

I now know officially what is wrong with me. I have also learned a lot of reasons why I am this way. It isn't about the things I initially thought.

It's a combination of things. Amazingly even some genetic things. I believe that I was born a sensitive child. What I mean by that is that I was very in tune with my surroundings and even others feelings. I was programmed to take life in general a little differently and a little harder than most.

Take that and put it with lots of seemingly tiny things throughout my life and it adds up to one BIG thing--borderline personality disorder.

Now, this isn't about blame, I don't want to do that. The only purpose it serves is to hurt others and I know I don't want anyone to hurt. I've been there and I hate it. What this is about is education.

Events have happened, things have been done that cannot be reversed and now it's about learning to un-learn thought and behavioral patterns for me. It's about showing others how to be with me, how to talk to me, what to say to me and what not to say. In large part it is about boundaries. This is my new "thing". Boundaries. I like that word... it's a safe word for me. It means putting up fences or even walls and not allowing people to get inside me too far. It's about giving others a chance to exist near me without being burdened by my every thought and feeling. It's about making my space a safe place for *me*.

I never knew about boundaries. I never knew that violating boundaries meant telling someone too much about myself. I never knew that it was me taking control and opening their gate or door and making them know me. I never knew that it was about wanting to know too much about others. I didn't know that it was about giving others some free time to exist as seperate entities from me. For those who are close to me, who touch my life, it's hard. Daily they are forced to open their doors yet again and let me in.

A boundary also means that others need to respect what I want and accept it--at least for me. Even if it goes against something they believe. It's about allowing me to be me, even if who I may want to be doesn't fit what you want for me. It's believing me when I say I am okay, and even if I'm not, allowing me to exist within myself and deal with it how I know how to. It's about trust. It's about trying their level best to stand by their commitments and to not violate things within me that are sacred. And in turn it's me not invading their sacred places or backing down from commitments.

I am now beginning to learn that it is unfair of me to expect others to live up to an impossible ideal that I seem to think exists within all of us. We are all human, we all make and have made mistakes and we will again someday. And I need to begin to make allowances for that. If I am far from perfect, why should I seek that in others?

For now though, while I am on this healing journey there are some core things that can help me along, help me to heal. My biggest thing is trust. I never trusted because I saw no reason to. When you are a child and you place your trust in another human being and they destroy it time and again you begin to learn that trust is something not worth believing in. I trusted and what belonged to me was taken even when I didn't want to give it away. No one asked me before breaking down my walls, perhaps because they also didn't understand boundaries. I never really understood that it was okay to put up walls, lock doors and be me. And as a result, today my boundaries are non-exisitent. Trust is a huge word for me because how can I expect to trust others if I can't even trust myself? I need desperately for people to be honest about what they do and who they are. I need them to respect my space and I need to know that in turn I can do the same for them. And I need to be honest--truely honest with myself. Even if it means making me angry.

I need to learn forgiveness too. By doing that and learning to trust, I will be able to let go of the anger that boils inside the dark part of me. But I am also *allowed* to be angry. As a child--before I understood boundaries--people broke through mine. They made me feel that my private space didn't actually belong to me. It was taken from me and even sometimes I gave it away thinking that was the way to get someone to love me or want me. So when they turned me away for one reason or another, I got angry at them and at myself because I was unable to hold onto the one thing that belonged solely to me. I now need to learn to forgive myself for allowing others inside my fence and forgive myself for being a person that knocked down others. Until I do, I will stay angry because I now understand what I own and what belongs to others.

Anger, the fire inside me. It rules my life right now and I feel I don't even own that part of me. It's been apart of me for a long time and to conquer it will mean a lot of hard work. It'll mean admitting things to myself and learning to let go. Living in my realm and dealing with my tirades isn't easy for others. I know it stings, even *really hurts* sometimes when I lash out but you need to understand my dynamics. Anger is very scary for me. Watching from the outside how I behave and watching others lose control is frightening. So I took my anger and stuffed it inside and turned it into something that belonged only to me, self-hatred and depression. My depression was my anger turned inwards. And now, the depression has been taken from me thanks to some great anti-depressants and some dedicated doctors and now I must face my anger. What makes it so hard for me is that I have to do this and be a mommy and a wife and any number of other people at the same time. I now have to face the demons inside me and make peace. I need to stop being angry about life and at myself and begin to live again.

You must understand something else about me. What people say to me, I internalize. All it takes is the simple casual one-time comment that the color of my clothes don't match and I am obsessed for life about making sure that my blues are exactly the right color of blues to wear together and if they aren't, struggling to find ones that do at the expense of my time and happiness. I know it sounds funny but to me this is reality. I discovered something this past weekend. My husband told me that what he had said to me in the past, something he only said once, I now act as if he reminds me about it daily. And then it occured to me. He doesn't need to do that!!! I do it to myself. Saying something about me, even making a casual joke penetrates a crack somewhere in me and gets into the part of me that is insecure. If it's about me in any way, shape or form, it becomes a large part of who I am. What a person says to me feels like their way of trying to tell me what a mess I am. Literally every word said to me is taken in and processed (sometimes over and over and over) and integrated into my life. For me it's about pleasing others, existing for others. An innocent comment made with the best intentions to help me is made into this huge thing inside me and I am forever worried about it. For others it is difficult to understand me. They say: "Can't you take a joke?" or "You worry too much". But what they fail to realize is that me, who I am, is someone who takes in everything and weighs it against what is already inside me. I don't know why I am like this. I don't know why it all matters so much. Maybe there is some chromosome for thinking too much and I have it. Who knows and at this point it doesn't really matter anymore.

I also need to learn how to turn down my emotional output too. I say too much, I entrap people. Inside I am still very much like a small child. Others see my reactions to events and think I am spoiled or too sensitve but for me I am still trapped in a child's mind and I am coping with the world with these child-like mechanisms. They work for me. I know them well. People run to kids when they cry and nurture them. And they run to me when I become this child. Mind you, it's not a choice I make. I don't sit there and think: "Okay, I'm going to act like a child to make them come running". It is in fact an automatic thing for me, the only way I know how to be...just as a child only knows how to be a child. By being this way people become the thing that in actuality I should become for myself and they fill up my emotional stores. Sadly, for me it works every time. And much to other's dismay they find themselves back in the position of rescuing this innocent child.

Therapy is teaching me--a 25 year old child--how to be an adult. Strange huh? But true. It will be about changing my very thought processes and self-talk. It's about needing validation only from myself and not needing to search it out in others. It'll be about integrating contrasts and showing me the spectrum of colors that exist in your world and are so very absent in mine. It'll be about accepting Melanie for Melanie and seeing that she is a beautiful person inside and out who has wonderful qualities all her own. I will no longer need to look into you, using you as my mirror to reflect the image of me. I will have an image within me that has an identity that I can draw on and shape by myself and change with each passing day to fit who I want to be that day and not who *I* think *you* want me to be.

And one last note for those who see me as healed now. I know what is wrong with me, boy oh boy do I know. I've been told enough by my "self" and by others. Being healed isn't always just about having the exact insight into the problem. For me, it's about needing someone to show me how to solve the problem because I am unable to find the way myself. This does not make me a weaker person though just because you feel inside that *you* think it's easy for me to change. The answer isn't crystal clear for me. For me it's a very tall mountain to climb. Change has never been easy...for anyone. Until I am a whole person again with a constant sense of self, remember I am trying, I really am. I'm tired of being me--the me I am at this point in time.

I am beginning to fight my demons and I am tenatively standing on my own twonfeet. I will walk this very scary, very new road (and perhaps sometimes ask for help). I will do it though...for me. Hmmm...perhaps this is my metaphorical "road less travelled".

Wish me luck"

To the dear Melanie out there...
you are not alone.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. Good luck on this journey!