Looking back on my life, I have identified several things that have happened to me that could have caused me to develop an “unstable” personality. On the other hand, I also have a mother who is diagnosed bipolar. So the question is… is it borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or both…. I am a person of intense emotions. It is as if everything that I feel is magnified slightly…is it mental of physical? I know what my last psychiatrist told me, but what do you think?
When I am excited, I am super talkative…to the point that I have even had friends tell me to slow down and take a breath. I am also notorious from jumping from topic to topic. (Most of the time, I even forget the original point of the conversation.) I often disclose too much information and later regret it. I become highly functional in the respect that I am able to get a lot of things done. Sometimes I feel like superwoman and on top of the world because I am able to get so much accomplished on my own. I get fidgety and have to be doing something all of the time. I have often been known to pace the house while talking on the phone because I just can’t sit still. If I do sit, I am a “tapper”, constantly tapping one foot. I can also be easily agitated. The smallest thing can throw me into a “rage” to the point that I am cursing. Sometimes I am even angry at someone else when really it is my fault. Things have to move quickly and everyone has to be on schedule. Conflicts in the schedule can really get me mad very quickly. This seems to be the #1 thing to set me off at any time.
I also often have a lot of problems sleeping. Not that I am worrying about anything. I am excited and thoughts rush through my head very quickly. I often jump from thought to thought with no coherent patterns to the thought. I used to smoke pot to sleep but now I take klonopin. If I do not take something to sleep, sometimes I will toss and turn until 5:30 in the morning. I will get madder and madder the later it gets because I know that I will have to be up at 6 am but for some reason, I cannot shut out all of the thoughts running through my head. Sometimes I am fully functional the day after a very sleepless night as if I had slept a full night. Other times, I struggle to stay awake….
Besides sleeping, I also have problems with my appetite
On the flip side, when I am disappointed and things are going bad in general I can become very sad, so intensely sad that I cannot control my emotions. I will sometimes cry for no reason. I have even been known to cry at work even though I know that people are around. No matter how hard I try to stop the tears, they just keep flowing. I usually feel that I have a reason for being sad and those reasons vary, sometimes it is financial problems, relationship problems or perceived relationship problems, feeling generally overly stressed, etc. During these periods, I hate myself and wish that I could be someone else and I especially hate the way that I react, although I feel unable to control it.
I also have problems sleeping during the “darker” times. I either sleep too much or I cannot sleep due to the worry that is clouding my head. In a “regular” episode, I may sleep excessively (10 or more hours) In a more serious episode, I have been known to lay in the bed for days at a time, only getting up to go to the restroom. It is important to note here that although I do lay in the bed for days, I probably sleep a few hours; the rest of the time I just lay in the bed with the covers pulled over my head in darkness and silence. I will often wake up several times to just go back to sleep. At these points, I lack all motivation for anything; to eat, to get up; to shower; to talk to anyone; etc. I feel like I barely have the will to exist…and I will let things go, the house…myself….
I also have a different appetite during these times. Most of the time, I eat excessively. I will have a little junk food gorge fest, eating lots of sweets and being very lazy. This usually causes me to gain weight, which later makes me feel even worse. On the other hand, sometimes I am so extremely dysfunctional that I will lay in the bed for days at which point, I eat nothing at all for days…
Rage can be caused by a number of things for me and often it is over “nothing” at all really. It can be that my daughter is running behind for school, even though I did not get up and make sure that she was getting ready. It can be that things are not going according to schedule. Sometimes it can literally be the smallest word that can set me off into a “temper tantrum” that I will later regret. That is the worst thing about my rage, I always feel guilty afterwards because it is totally inappropriate. It can range from mild anger (raised voice, attitude in my voice, etc) to full blown rage (screaming, yelling, cursing, throwing things, getting up in ones face) The key factor here is that during the “rage” I feel completely justified and will try to say and do things that will hurt the person the worst, but afterwards I always feel guilty….During a “rage”, I have a tendency towards wanting to be violent. I will usually get close to hitting someone to pull back before doing something that I will later regret. I usually try to counter this by removing myself from the situation, because if I keep getting pushed, I can be prone to violence. Usually if I am allowed to “cool down” and I remove myself from the situation, I can come back as if nothing ever happened and go about the day normally.
Fear of Abandonment
Another key feeling for me is the anxiety that I feel due to a fear of abandonment. In my head, I guess I do not feel worthy of love and do not really know how anyone could love me. I act horribly, like a “monster” sometimes, to the point that I don’t even want to be around myself and cannot stand my own reactions. “Just snap out of it” is the phrase that has commonly been told to me. Unfortunately, I wish that I could just “snap out of it”, but I feel completely justified during the event and feel like I am being controlled by my intense emotions. This is even more pronounced around those that I care about due to the fact that I am around them so often…
Sometimes the slightest thing can plunge me into “paranoia” about the fact that my partner is going to leave me. Not that I am afraid to be alone because I have lived alone for quite some time and done fairly well, but when I care about someone, I am deeply scared that they will realize what a “monster” I really am and will leave me…I am extremely insecure.
I have been very promiscuous for years. I don’t know if this came from the constant exposure to *********** as a child, the rape at 13, the feelings of insecurity, etc. During the times that I have been extremely promiscuous, I have found nothing wrong with it. It is not until later that I am ashamed and embarrassed. I also seem to have a heightened sexuality and need for sex. I am not a nymphomaniac because I true nymphomaniac will have sex with anyone, but I do have an oversensitive/hyper sex drive. I have also noticed that I am only promiscuous when I am “on top of the world”. When I am in the “dark” state, I feel ugly and unattractive, so I am not really trying to have sex at all, much less with strangers and lots of them.
For several years, I refused medication and even now I use meds sparingly. As I mentioned before, I often have a lot of insomnia due to racing/excited thoughts or worry/anxiety. I now smoke pot every night before bedtime to go to sleep. There have also been other times when I have briefly quit, but it is like I traded one “addiction” for another. I would either be snorting or drinking. I have recently quit again. This time, I am using klonopin to help me calm my head enough to sleep. I think that I have been psychologically addicted to it for years. These drug experiences were more for fun than out of “necessity”. These were the days when I was the “fun girl” or “it girl”, the one who knew everyone and was always the life of the party. I am still like this on some levels at times. Sometimes I am extremely talkative, witty, and “fun to be around”, while other times I am very quiet, reserved, and shy. I usually use alcohol to help me to become the “fun girl”, because I can be extremely shy, especially around large groups of people that I don’t know. Sometimes, however, I can talk to anybody regardless….
I have a history of self harm. This has decreased over the years. I often wonder why I did it…due to the fact that it is obviously irrational and “normal” people wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. I have come to the conclusion that this helps to externalize the pain that I feel inside. I wouldn’t say it is for attention because I don’t boast or brag about it, , but I dismiss the thoughts and do not act on them. I think that I am pretty much over this part of my life.
I have also had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts,. Now when I go through a major “depressive spell” or “depression”, I generally lay in the bed and would not even have the will to get up to attempt suicide.. I do have to admit that I still have times when the thought does cross my mind, but I lack the conviction to actually go through with it.
Denial of Needs
I also often have a tendency to put the needs of others before my own and make sure that others are taken care of even if I am not. This has been evident in relationships where I will buy my partner expensive clothing, etc. only to buy mine on the sales rack or not at all. I am also prone to putting “everything I have” into a relationship, i.e. taking care of the house, refusing to allow my partner to pay for things, making sure that all of the bills are paid, etc. I do not do this with the conscious expectation that they will do for me, but I think that it is innate in humans to subconsciously expect something in return. For me, I think that subconsciously, I feel that if they really care for me, they will try to help me and that I shouldn’t have to ask anyway. I also feel that I have to work that much harder for “love” and “acceptance” because I am a “monster”. Sometimes I do get angry because I feel that my partner is not “doing enough” which translates to “he does not really care” and then other times, I insist on doing everything anyway. Sometimes I wonder if I am subconsciously trying to give myself a reason to feel unloved by insisting on doing everything. Maybe this is because I don’t feel worthy of love and don’t know how to accept it, so I create a situation that makes it impossible for me to feel loved. This is very confusing for me. Sometimes it is hard for me to discern reality from situations that I create. I know that I do not do these things on purpose, but I often have to question my own underlying motivations. This is also hard for me to accept, that maybe I am “dooming” relationships from the start based on my own insecurities…Maybe I make it impossible for someone to love me….Maybe I have really been the problem all along…
Lack of Sense of Self/Identity
I have struggled with a sense of identity for years. Whether it is sexual identity; bi or straight, physical identity; do I like or hate my appearance, emotional identity; do I overreact or are my emotions warranted; or vocational identity, what do I really want to do with my life. This causes a lot of problems because my sense of “identity” changes so frequently and I still haven’t been able to get a firm grasp on who I really am. I have come to the conclusion that I am “straight with bi tendencies” as I only occasionally have the “taste for a woman” and have a strong preference for men. My feelings about my personal appearance waiver with my moods. When I am generally pessimistic and “down” I tend to hate my appearance and when I am “up” I usually think that I am “ok”. As far as emotional identity, I am still confused. I don’t know what is “right” and what is “wrong”. I think that my main issue is the intensity with which I feel emotions and my irrational reactions; not that the feelings are necessarily unwarranted all of the time. I still struggle to figure out who I am and what I am supposed to do with my life. It seems like every time I think that I have figured myself out, I change and become someone else. Who am I really?….
I have battled psychiatrists and family members for years and insisted that things in my life made me the way that I am. I have also been resistant to any type of treatment, i.e. drug therapy or counseling because I always come to the conclusion that I can deal with things on my own. There is nothing really wrong with me…anyone would react this way under stress or given the life circumstances that I have had….I often remember being very hurt as a child because my mom was not really “emotionally” there, she was either too busy being a social butterfly and flitting from place to place or she was “down in the dumps” and generally non-responsive.. I want to get help, but I want to get the right kind of help. I do not want to be an overmedicated zombie like my mother nor do I want to continue to be a “walking time bomb” and “emotional basketcase”.