I am the kind of person who is always in control.
Life with BPD is full of periods of complete control or utter helplessness. Not much in between.
Sometimes I’m the only reason anyone remembers to eat and I’m in charge of doing all the actual bill paying. I buy my husband’s clothes and explain to the hairdresser the kind of cut he wants. I alone write the grocery list and I alone choose the decor for our home. This is okay, because we’re 99% sure said husband is autistic and making all of these choices is extremely stressful for him. That my control is helpful rather than abusive is part of why our relationship works so very, very well.
But when I’m so lost I forget how to read a bill let alone pay it, when I can’t fathom the intellectual effort of cooking and crave noise and human presence so I eat out every night, when I escape to the mall and blow $250 when we live off a meager $1200 a month because I talk myself into all the reasons I NEED THESE DISCOUNT SCENTED CANDLES FOR THE HOUSE TO COVER THE STENCH OF 3 YOUNG MEN AND THESE SHORTS ARE ON CLEARANCE BETTER BUY ALL THREE PAIRS OH AND A TEA INFUSER MAN I’LL SAVE ON GROCERIES BY DRINKING TEA INSTEAD OF SNACKING!
There’s not really any use for that and that’s when everyone remembers:
It takes weeks for people to really notice what’s happening. I tell a lot of “harmless” half truths. The water didn’t get turned off because I spent the payment and had to scrabble to find the money! No, I forgot I turned auto-pay off! Of course I sent the rent check. Doesn’t mean all the money is in the account yet but I sent it. Sure I fed the snakes today. Two outta three is “snakes”… a couple days off feeding schedule is like eating lunch at 2 instead of noon, right?
Sometimes I can earn it back. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but I don’t regret and don’t think it’s anybody’s place to think negatively of me for. I’ve begged on streetcorners. I’ve sold my body (this ties into the whole “wreckless behavior” bit… we’ll talk about sex MUCH later when my mom is adjusted enough to my blogging about delicate things to not clutch her pearls too tight). I’ve sold almost everything of value I own, and I’ve gotten a LOT of help from kind relatives and internet friends. A LOT. I’m extremely lucky to have a supportive circle of family and friends who have the ability to throw me a bone.
I haven’t been able to find words for this addiction. This compulsion? With bpd, by definition all these lines between otherwise clear-cut behaviors are extremely blurred. The paranoia of being schizotypal. The obsession and compulsion, the anxiety, the fear. The addictive behaviors, the manic periods. Which is it? Because while you can get the same end result from several, the treatment, the approach to repairing the issue is completely different. They all come from a different place.
We’ll revisit this issue as I battle with it, of course. For now, here’s an exceptionally intimate window to my chaos, written a month ago after I spent money that really was not mine and only realized it as I left for home. It also touches on my undiagnosed chronic illness, and my eating disorder (yeah yeah how many problems does this bitch have?)
Can you feel the fear?
I don’t know what happened
I spent $250 today and I don’t know how and none of it is returnable
It keeps happening. I’m in charge of paying the bills so everyone lets me keep hold of the money and trusts me and I feel like I’m responsible but then
I spent $250 and none of it is returnable.
It’s stuff I tell myself I need. We only get to wash clothes twice or three times a month and my cheap clothes keep wearing through, holes in the thighs of all my pants. We need containers to hold the overflowing amount of shit we’re too damn tired to sort through. We need air fresheners to contain the stench of the dishes nobody will fucking wash for weeks at a time. I need a game to occupy all the dozens of hours I’m left alone night after hollow night.
I spent $250 and none of it is fucking returnable.
It’s like getting stoned, it just feels good and while I’m high everything makes sense and feels okay and my logic is sound and it’s all fine and then I come down and I just can’t believe the wreckage around me.
I owe people money. Good people. People who gave me their hearts and trust so I could do better for myself and I am fucking them over.
Today I told myself I could buy one more thing even though it meant I had no more food money for two weeks. I told myself it will help me lose weight, I will eat only rice and bouillon. I will starve and all of these trinkets will distract me long enough for it to stick this time.
Today I spent all my food money and someone else’s, too.
I cannot be trusted. I need help. I need medical attention.
The other day I noticed on accident that my urine is sweet.
The other day I woke up sitting in a chair with my head against the wall and I’m not sure why, because I never sit there.
Half my day I am ravenous, I feel like I will never have enough to sate my hunger, I feel starved and malnourished. The other half I’m so nauseous I can’t move and I must turn the a/c to subzero to freeze the bile before it touches the back of my throat.
And today I spent $250 and fucked over myself and everyone else and not one goddamn bit of it is returnable.
Like, things are better than they used to be in that I no longer have suicidal ideation and don’t randomly leave the house without telling anyone to go prostitute myself for days and I don’t screech and cry and bang my head against the wall trying to get the loud roar of nothing at all to fucking stop screaming in my ears.
But it makes our already near impossible situation worse when I can’t trust myself, can’t trust my own logic. When I have to be accountable for actions that I’m essentially helpless when I make. I’m constantly scrabbling at the door to be let out of this awful filthy empty house and I’m choking on the responsibility of my eating issues and weight hatred and shopping addiction and debts and this fucking mental illness on top of a body so sick that feels like it is rejecting the very life it succeeded in making me keep so many times.
god help me help me help me help me
I want to go to the doctor
I want my seroquel
I want therapy
I want something for the pain so I can move and lift and run and WORK and earn my living again
(solid poop for the first time in a year and a half would be nice, too)
health insurance is so obscenely expensive
Tune in next week for: Things That Go Bump In The Day