Thursday, 5 April 2012

Anger gets you no-where except a referral to the lunny bin.

I need to expel all the overwhelming lunacy that perpetrated my day onto something objective, so I turned to here, to my blog, to the only healthy coping strategy I seem to possess. I don't even know if I will post this, or keep it as a draft, just an arbitrary exercise to rid my big BPD head of the emotions which churn and mangle my thoughts.

I had my INDIVIDUAL session with my DBT therapist this afternoon. It was only when I was waiting for her in the lounge of  the clinic that I noticed how grumpy I was. I was frowning and gritting my teeth and really quite narky. I didn't have enough time to figure out what the route cause for my agitation was as I was minutes away from therapy so I just tried (read FAILED) to push it away as I didn't want to waste a session on  what I felt to be an unnecessary topic. Well, boy was I mistaken for thinking I could just will it away that easily.

Within minutes of the session the elephant in the room was not only noticed but pulled out by the tusks and made to take center stage. T:"whats going on right now?"All I wanted to do was scream at her. Me: "what do you mean?" now  I was screaming at her, well in my head anyway. "SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME THE F*^% ALONE!" I can only imagine that I looked like an cartoon character, you know the one where where they turn red and steam starts coming out their ears.....

It was clear I was in no mood for therapy, and thank God she realized this and moved swiftly on to discussing what the DBT process calls THERAPY INTERFERING BEHAVIORS. I call it being stubborn and headstrong. Its the ultimate no-no in DBT. She asked me about the plans I had to end my life I had mentioned in an Email, and I point blank refused to talk to her. I picked a point on the carpet and simply stared at it praying that she would just give in and ask me something else. I knew I was being childish, but it was the only thing I could do to stop me from storming out of the stuffy office in a huff and making a holy show of myself.

We sat in silence for a while longer until she pointed out that I had agreed to at least give DBT a shot, and that not saying anything was not participating. I was shaking all over now, gone beyond the point where I might cry and was just plain mad. I didn't care anymore. I told her I wished I had never said anything to her about suicide, and that I felt like I couldn't be honest with her anymore if this was how she was going to react. (and I wonder why BPD has such a bad name....) I was being a bitch.

I do get her point. I mean I can't expect the skills to work if I ain't willing to give them a shot first. This includes staying alive long enough to learn them. So after the fickle silence, we agreed that my lack of structure and routine is not helping my mental health at the moment. Which is very true. Then she landed the shocker on me....

She was referring me to the hospital and wanted me to do the 'center for living' program. This is ultimately a babysitting service for the emotionally challenged, run by possibly the most invalidating health care workers known to this planet. I mean the nurses are straight out of the old Victorian asylum era, where they think that shoving drugs down your throat to keep you quite and throwing patronizing advise about sleep and diet at you will cure you enough to get you back out the door for another few months. They expect to see you again at some stage. Recovery is simply not in there limited vocabulary. 

I have no choice in the matter, so for the next few days until they can organize themselves, I am a 'danger to myself' and must check in with the nurse on call every morning. So much for a life worth living......


  1. sounds rough. bring something to write with. what is the optimal scenario you can imagine coming out of this situation?

    and if that invalidating shit isn't what you need, what DO you need? who can provide it?

    definitely a radical acceptance sort of scenario (sorry) so given that, sort out what you need emotionally, write until your hand cramps, give yourself permission to feel frustration and fear and whatever else. listen to music, make art.

    i have found i am often operating under an unconscious (or sometimes conscious) assumption, "Given that I can't handle reality". This isn't a useful or scientifically valid assumption. Maybe make a list to follow this alternative 'given' - "Given that reality is tolerable..."

    Hope this might help. It'll be ok.

    1. rashocheal, Wow thanks so much for your great insights. It most certainly is a radical acceptance situation. I am doing all I can to turn my mind to the fact that I will be going there and that I may not agree with it or like it but the fact of the matter is that it is happening.

      You are right, its a great place to be creative, and it will be good to have the time to do art and write. I will remind myself that it is a tolerable situation which, if I allow it, might even have positive outcomes. I also need to remind myself that the staff are not trained in DBT and simply dont understand BPD. Its not that they hate me, they are just uneducated.

      Thanks again for the perspective. It helped lots.