Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Borderline Personality Disorder

Last year I saw a counsellor to see if I was going crazy. She said no. She said I was in an extremely emotionally domestic abusive relationship. That was 4 months into the relationship. I didn't listen.. But that's not what this post is about..

Anyway, the woman I saw for counselling; well it was her last day, and despite it being against regulations (in case I required more than one appt) She was left with no option but to see me and apologised profusely from the start that it wouldn't be a very productive session knowing that. Looking back, I realise how much the Universe intervened in my path.

It turned out that psychologist was leaving to embark on a world first Doctorate or Masters or something special that is higher than the normal 'degree study etc'. The area of psychology/psychiatry it was on, was a specific type of disorder affecting many young women. The geographical location was where I had been diagnosed with the same disorder 10 years ago. Now I can see that getting out of that town was the best thing for me, something in the water maybe? Anyway the world wide study, needed to be conducted where the most affected cases reported were. Mandurah, Western Australia.

I'm happy to say the government mental health programs helped me immensely throughout my teenage years supporting myself in the real world balancing work AND school, provided the tools, facilities and support networks to fully overcome what I needed to. I was one of the first to undergo a full course of DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) with Schema Therapy. I must say those (compulsory) courses, workshops, meetings and compassionate people saved my life. Unfortunately 3 girls out of my class of 7 did not make it through the year from suicide or drug overdoses. But I learnt I could control What i suffering from. Overcome it. Get through it. It took over a year but I persevered, eager to absorb any knowledge I needed to know in order to understand it. Now I can see that's an INTJ thing, loving to learn.

What is interesting, is that during my - what I call - Brain Training, I had a stint at an Bentley adolescent unit in Perth for a little bit. There was a 3 month waiting list i'd discovered earlier in the year after a referral from an 'apparent' attempted suicide. Self harm was not and is not suicide attempts. Anyway, turned out a few months later, an actual Suicide attempt (by means of noose one minutes, waking in hospital the next) was enough to forgo the 'waiting list'.
Don't judge me. I was a lost, lonely, 15yr old girl estranged from my family at that point, living in the back room of a 23yr old nut bag and her autistic 3 yr old; trying to pay and study my first year at TEE, pay rent and food, and work. Throw the complications of love with older men (20's) and an unaware INTJ whom naturally doesn't understand emotions and you may start to see why i somehow thought life would be better on the Other side..

At the Perth institution, The medical team had no awareness, knowledge or understanding of my disorder and dismissed it as 'Not Medically Recognised'. And that is largely due to its incorrect namesake. Needless to say, as soon as I was out of there and back within reach of my support network of professionals willing to assist me, I was much better off than any 'Mental Institution' could be for me. It's like they haven't learnt any new medical terms of any kind since last century. They believed in medication, very fucked up medication, two way mirrors, isolation from the world, even music, shoe laces & lighters were risk items, worthy of a night in 'Lock Down' if caught with them in possession. Lockdown = Dark sectioned off quarters of the building often emitting wails and moans with Automatic security grills that shut the light out for what seemed like 20/24hrs of the day. Straight jackets and electrodes therapy. If you weren't too crazy when you went in there, you sure as hell would be soon after, and there you would stay until you reached 18 and they shipped you off to what is known as 'Greylands'. Perth's Adult Mental Asylum.

Anyway, found my diary entries from my Time in there a few weeks ago. Pretty scary. Thank god I was smart enough to stay sane to get back to the real doctors in Mandurah.
Bentley Adolescent Unit, you were a shame to me and from what I witnessed, in no way shape or form, assisted in helping the well being of teenagers return to a healthy mental state. Maybe it was because the others were unable to be helped. But as I said, the place would turn you nuts within hours. I went in as a Voluntary patient, after my first night being attacked by a patient who escaped from lockdown and tried to kill me, I was suddenly 'involuntary' and had been all along according to my signature on the arrival documents. Bastards. I got them back by using the pay phone in the office to hire multiple prostitutes to arrive calling for the doctors and staff the night after my anticipated departure. They should never have called me Rebecca either, those who did copped Hannibal Style lectures eerily calming yet chillingly haunting from a skinny white girl with no family who visited..
There's a beautiful woman I must thank one day for getting me out of there. Trina, if you ever read this, that day with you and your dad, is a day I will cherish forever... Thank you for being you. A single mother to four young children yet you drove all the way up to collect a teenage girl you hardly knew.. Thank you.
Soooo ive veered off topic a bit, I guess I've been waiting soooo long to talk about that part of my life... Without fear of judgements and ridicule. It is not who I am now, but it is 'how' I was 10 years ago. Remember that, 10 years ago, stop for a sec and remember what u were doing 10 years ago.. You're a lot different now I imagine... Perspective.

But without all the parts to the story, I wouldn't be telling the whole truth about me would I...

So back to the coincidental therapist last year. We discovered in our meeting that she had actually heard about me, my story of success from all those years ago. We discussed the adolescent unit and their lack of understanding. She explained in recent years, the medical world realised this was a real disorder, with escalating cases. The big wigs that be , must have got shit scared that a growing group of the futures next generation of women were; well they wouldn't be there for the future most likely, and if they were, well they'd be fucking crazy.. So now this big study has paid off, and the disorder is now its own major for a degree; AND it is so better understood now.. By the medical field.. One step closer to the public understanding it properly.

This is where this post fits in I guess..

Sooooo my session was great to talk to someone who knew what I'd come through, knew about me - in a weird prototype kinda way and she gave me many new books to look up and 2 leading Psychiatrists names she begged me to get in touch with, one who would be very interested in a new trial study at Murdoch uni. Seeing as i was cured (learnt control) and had succeeded so well in life. They needed to know more about this possibility to help others..
Our discussion/session was all well and good, but I now needed a way to explain this part of my past, without my emotionally abusive partner using it as another tool of leverage to lower me on the rung of relationship-esteem. (Yes I just made those two words put together to make sense)

So she wrote a paragraph for me. To explain it to the people I may want to. She advised against explaining it to my partner, well, she advised against ever explaining a thing to him again.. Not that I listened.. But I kept that piece of paper.. Hidden.. Moved between handbags, books, cars etc..

Today I spring cleaned in Summer.. I found that note. In two pieces.. With the books (one has Buddah in the title) and the doctors listed etc.. And on the back.. The paragraph.. In her writing..

Here we go:

B.P.D is a condition related to difficulties managing emotions. Feelings can be overwhelming and can be very sensitive. Can have problems with managing anger and can have feelings of emptiness and fearful of abandonment..
That's my story with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

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