April 6, 2010

Cleaning Up the Mess

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:17 pm by eddejae

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” ~Jim Morrison

Last week I had particularly upsetting experience with a so-called “friend” who, after being rejected in the potential-for-romance department, ripped off the “I’m such a nice, caring guy” mask and revealed himself to be a self-centered, arrogant, and back-stabbing jerk.

Well, it happened again. Different guy, similar situation. Thankfully I wasn’t cussed out or called names this time, but his main complaint was that I only engaged in “small talk” with him and wouldn’t divulge all of my thoughts and feelings to him on a continual basis. He was puzzled by the fact that I had become “distanced.” He kept asking over and over again when we were going to hang out, why I had stopped talking to him on a regular basis, and I kept making excuses and avoiding until the truth finally came out.

Unfortunately, similar to the previous guy, he got to know me during a period where I took masks on and off as quickly and easily as I did tying and untying my shoelaces. The girl they knew was a personality specifically formed for them, who made them feel like they were her best friend in the entire world. Desperate to somehow alleviate the deep loneliness inside, I recklessly formed relationships with anyone and everyone and clung to each of them as an ultimately futile way of forming an identity.

I gravitated towards unhealthy individuals who tolerated my lack of boundaries and enjoyed their egos stroked. As I am becoming more integrated and unveiling my “true self” underneath the layers of false identities, I find myself drifting away from these people, seeing them for who they are. There are certain people I simply do not wish to have in my life anymore. They only serve to bring me down, and out of respect for myself and commitment to my recovery, I cannot allow them back in. I am now reaping the consequences of what BPD led to me to do and attempting to clean up the mess, if you will. It has not been easy or fun.

However, this time around, I was stronger. Even though, in the end, this guy “disowned” me as a friend simply because I was honest about my illness and straightforward regarding my new boundaries (which he refused to accept), I simply wasn’t as upset as the last time. I didn’t cry myself to sleep or have urges to self harm, which I was so relieved about. It just didn’t seem to be as emotionally devastating this time around, probably because I have gradually gained a better grasp my personal “Bill of Rights” (see March 28th post) and my definition of the title “friend.” In my world, a friend is someone who allows you to be yourself at all times, accepts you with all your weaknesses and imperfections,  doesn’t expect to “get” something from you, and respects (even loves) your boundaries.  To me, that is a true friend.

Anyone less than that is merely a poser, an abuser (heaven forbid), or simply someone who lacks the emotional maturity or skills to engage wholesome relationships with others.

After this experience I was overcome by a fit of “social spring cleaning” – I purged my Facebook friends list, going from 693 friends to 211. Most of those I deleted 1) I never talk to anyways; 2) probably don’t even remember who I am; or 3) have played a negative part in my life. All that remain are my family members, fellow church-goers, and my REAL friends. It was a cleansing process for me, and proof that you can take a distressing situation and use it for a good end. (*NOTE: I am not referring to the Facebook profile connected to this blog, which is merely for networking and advocacy purposes; rather, I’m referring to my personal Facebook page.*)

Speaking of Facebook… Why oh why did I have to be introduced to those horribly addictive Mindjolt games? Talk about time suck! In fact, I think I’m getting carpal tunnel playing that stupifying “Bouncing Ball” game. MindJOLT?? More like MindNUMB!!

I’ve been in a strange mood today – a little laissez-faire with a splash of awkward goofiness. I can’t say I’ve been particularly productive, but I haven’t been especially bored either. The day has flown by, but I can’t really tell you anything that I did! Am I having a brain lapse? Probably.

Lastly, I watched the movie “Girl, Interrupted” last night. My many and varied thoughts on it tomorrow… I reached the peak of my brownie-sundae-explosion-induced sugar high about five minutes ago and I will now be experiencing a crash in 3… 2… 1….

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March 24, 2010

The Path Unknown

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:53 pm by eddejae

The road stretches endlessly before me,

Infinite beyond the horizon where

The half-circle of blood-red sun hangs suspended,

Neither setting nor rising – no,

Whether it is dusk or dawn I cannot tell –

Casting a soft glow reflecting off the

Dusty road, making it glitter like

A million diamonds free for the taking.

Barefoot and broken, bruised and battered,

I stand at the starting line, shifting restlessly

From one foot to the other in nervous anticipation.

Behind me stretches another path,

Long and winding, serpent-like,

Threatening to coil and spring, swallowing me whole.

I take a step forward, hesitant, then one more.

As the dust settles around my feet,

I look over my shoulder at the path left behind.

From the darkness looms a vision,

A memory – resurrected as a nightmarish scene –

I see my heavy, fragile heart slipping from my chest

And shattering onto the cold, hard concrete.

Vultures emerge from the fog, brutal and mocking,

To steal the shattered remnants of what

Was once alive and beating.

Shivering, I turn back to the glittering path before me.

Another unsteady step, then another, and yet one more –

Further and further from that long night in which

I had grown so pale and weak.

The light from the half-submerged sun burns

Against my skin as I close my eyes to the glare.

Exhaustion overtakes me – I stumble and fall.

Discouraged, frightened, and distracted by my pain,

I draw my knees into my chest with my back to the sun.

Through my tears I look beyond the patch of luminescent road

I had traveled and into the dreary wasteland yet again.

A grand performance has been prepared in my short absence –

Familiar characters and scenes from my past

Are being played out before me –

I cannot shut my eyes to the horror,

And I am once more witness to it all.

In the middle of that stage in the distance stands a girl –

She looks like me, yet, is not me.

Laughing, beckoning, “Return, return –

You know us here. Put on a mask,

Any one you choose, and play with us again.

We will rape your heart and shanghai

Your identity – But is this not the game?

Who can guess to what strange land that

Glistening path will take you –

You do not even know if the sun is coming or going –

Why take such a risk? Come back to us –

Here you can be someone else –

Or no one at all –

Find refuge inside your fears, your insecurities.

At least here in the darkness, you cannot be seen.

At least in this place of pain, you can hide from the

Light that reveals all imperfection –

Come. Come back to what you know.”

Grinning, she turns her back to me, and

Blends into the ensemble of masked mimes,

Despondent clowns, and demons spewing forth

Clawed derisions threatening to tear at the

Fragile fabric of my mind.

Ripping my gaze from the hypnotic chaos before me,

I rise to my feet and consider the scene.

I close my eyes, and breathe in slowly,

And feel the sun’s warmth upon my back.

I turn around, and put one foot forward…