My Story

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slipping

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My Story
« on: November 07, 2019, 03:37:47 PM »
I would like to share my story if anyone is willing to read it. (Content Warning: mentions of previous suicidality)

I will attempt to be as brief as possible in my telling of these very complicated situations that first caused me to believe that I was BPD, and then later CPTSD, and now Iím unsure.

Iím a 35yo male. Iíve been alone my whole life. Iíve always longed for a partner (a rescuer), but have historically been more prone to isolate myself than I have been to actively seek a partner.

5 years ago, at the age of 30, I had a brief, very intense romantic relationship with a woman who was diagnosed BPD. She hid her diagnosis from me during the month that we were dating, but her behavior was very confusing. She displayed significant drug seeking behavior and even once accidentally said the words ďmy heroin.Ē When I tried to have an honest conversation with her about it, she denied everything and stonewalled me. I became very upset, pleading with her. She began using her knowledge of BPD to convince me that I have it. It was only during her final blow; the-nail-in-the-coffin; that she admitted to being diagnosed BPD, as a way of saying that thatís why she knew I was also BPD.

Her behavior during our brief relationship was very triggering for me. I did begin spiraling down and having outbursts. I was questioning my own sanity. She was gaslighting me, but my intense negative reaction; my own emotional dysregulation and my inability to return to baseline made me think she must be right about me having BPD.

I became suicidal (I didnít make suicide threats to her, or to anyone) and came very close to doing it. But instead I checked myself into the hospital and tried to talk my way into a BPD diagnosis. After 10 days, they insisted that I was not BPD; that I didnít ďact like a borderlineĒ and that they had never in their professional careers known someone to accurately self-diagnose BPD. They diagnosed me with Depression and sent me on my way.

It took me a long time to recover from that experience. I spent a few years ruminating about it, wondering if maybe I was BPD after all, etc. Eventually I came to learn about CPTSD. It made sense for me, considering that I had only really had that one intense relationship (not in-and-out of intense relationships) and had otherwise always been alone.

Then just a few months ago, after having built a good life for myself; a good group of friends; a good social life, etc., a woman within my friend group accused me of having ďforced myself on herĒ months beforehand, in an e-mail with a laundry list of (what I consider to be) totally unwarranted accusations. I remember the encounter as entirely consensual and it stopped when she said that she ďdidnít want to go any further and ruin our friendship.Ē

I initially responded with confusion and defensiveness, then followed it up with ďIím sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable that night.Ē  She never responded. She and another friend turned their back on me by simultaneously leaving our group chat. That moment (abandonment?) felt like a thousand daggers.

I started unraveling emotionally. I spoke to a few mutual friends, all of whom began parroting her accusations, refusing to believe me that it was a consensual encounter. I should have gone into damage control mode but instead I just kept spiraling down. I should have done nothing at that point; just move on with my life and let the chips fall as they may. But I was so upset that I wasnít capable of doing that in the moment. What happened next makes me wonder ďwhat is wrong with me?Ē and Ēam I BPD or CPTSD?Ē

I suggested to a few of my friends that I was going to kill myself. I packed up my car and I left with the intention of either killing myself or leaving and never coming back. My friends were blowing up my phone and I responded with vitriol. I was full of rage and I texted some really nasty things back to them. One of my friends had called 911 and the cops eventually spotted my car. I was forced to spend the night in the psych ward.

I got out of the hospital the next day and I was still angry at my friends. I left the area. I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment. Without any plan of how I was going to survive. These are all very impulsive behaviors. Eventually, unable to function, with nowhere else to turn, I moved back in with my parents.

Itís now been two months since this happened. I certainly had an ďepisodeĒ of some kind. It was emotional dysregulation; an emotional reaction that was disproportionate to the situation. I was catastrophizing and thinking in black-and-white (ďmy life is ruined,Ē and ďall my friends completely betrayed meĒ). I acted in a way that actually did ruin my life as I knew it and lost all of my friends.

Two months later and I still canít stop ruminating about the whole thing, alternating between intense self-blame for my reaction and anger at my former friends for refusing to believe me. But what-did-or-didnít-happen regarding the accusations becomes irrelevant considering that my own reaction to the situation caused so much destruction in itself.

I still can hardly function; can hardly get out of the house. I canít sleep through the night. I have nightmares related to the situation. Iím having difficulty concentrating and I feel like Iíve become disconnected from my ability to feel joy. I lost all of my closest friends, who I loved. All attempts at communication with my (former) friends only dug my hole deeper. I lost my band. I lost my ability to play music in the community. My reputation is ruined from both the accusations and from my reaction to them. It all feels so overwhelming and insurmountable.

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notalone

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Re: My Story
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 03:45:39 PM »
Slipping,
I don't have any words of wisdom, but I want you to know that I read your story. Do you have a therapist or anyone who can help you to process? What you went through and continue to experience is really big and seemingly overwhelming. Glad you reached out for support here.

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slipping

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Re: My Story
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 04:03:00 PM »
Thank You notalone.

I have a lapse in my health insurance but should be able to have it up and running again in December. I need to find a therapist but I have a lot of self-defeating behavior and procrastination right now. Everything seems so remarkably daunting and anxiety provoking.

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Kizzie

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Re: My Story
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 04:58:37 PM »
First off Slipping welcome to OOTS, I'm so glad you found your way here especially given what you're going through right now.  Members here absolutely get it and will offer some much needed support, encouragement and info to help you.  Toward that end I moved your post here to the Intro forum so more members will see it and respond.

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I need to find a therapist but I have a lot of self-defeating behavior and procrastination right now. Everything seems so remarkably daunting and anxiety provoking.

That's the conundrum so many of us face with CPTSD - we often isolate, have difficulty reaching out and when we need help the most are mired in symptom flareups which sap our energy and concentration. You have had some huge losses so it's no wonder you are struggling.  Can I ask if your CPTSD developed as a result of trauma your parents caused?  I ask because if not they may be able to help you locate a therapist (T). If it was, we do have a form (attached) and a list of databases (https://www.outofthestorm.website/treatment) you can search for potential T's in your area.

In the meantime, when you're up to it keep posting as it can really help to know you're not alone and that there are others who understand.  :grouphug:


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Three Roses

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Re: My Story
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 07:38:47 PM »
Hello, nice to meet you.  :wave:

I can really empathize with your story. Have a story much like that from around 2011. Feeling better, stable now. I believe in you, that you too will be able to attain stability once again.

This forum's information and its supportive members have been the key to recovery for me; I educated myself in cptsd, its symptoms, and strategies for coping. In spite of having been in therapy off and on for about 30 years, I never knew about emotional flashbacks, cptsd, triggers, and how they fit into my reactions to life's problems.

In my own flight from my friends, family, and surroundings, I learned the definition of true friendship. Some of those friends have stayed with me during and after my flight, and see me for who I am instead of what others may say I am. I hope this will be true for you as well.

While you are waiting for your health insurance, I hope you take the month or so to immerse yourself in this forum and educate yourself in cptsd. Pete Walker is an excellent resource and I highly recommend his book, "CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving". Many of us here see this book as indispensable. He also has a website, http://pete-walker.com that has a lot of good information.

I did see you had a previous thread you'd started in 2017, and I am also hoping your parents are being supportive. I hope to hear more from you!
 :heythere:

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slipping

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Re: My Story
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 11:02:09 PM »
Thank you so much everyone for your responses and your support.

My parents are the cause of the trauma that has caused my difficulties, and yet here I am living with them again. My mother is narcissistic and would control her children and my father with fits of rage. Everyone needed to agree on her delusions or else face her wrath (which was inevitable anyway). Iím trying to see the positive side of living with my parents again, namely that I can think of it as an intensive training (or re-training) on how to deal with those triggering situations.

My father is post-stroke, so it adds an extra layer of stress; partially babysitting him while he anxiously still tries to father me, afraid of not making me do what my mother has trained him over the years to make me do... itís a weird dynamic.

I think I need to try to get set up here with therapy and employment. Once I have a stable situation in those regards, I could potentially try to visit the old friends who are still willing to have me (2 hour drive). I think they would probably want to see that Iím getting therapy, etc. before they would just welcome me back into their lives.

One person Iíve been in touch with is my former bandmate. He, like everyone else, sided with my accuser (he plays music with her too), but he didnít immediately turn his back on me like some of the others.

We made great music together and Iíve never had that dynamic with anyone else in my life. It would be a shame to completely give that up. We just released our album as everything blew up, so now we arenít promoting it or playing shows, which is a real shame.

Iíve been on Pete Walkerís site before. Thereís some good info, for sure. The 4fís is enlightening, as I definitely did an extreme version of both fight & flight. (Telling everyone to go f themselves and packing my car and moving away, quitting my job and abandoning my apartment).

It pains me, ruminating about all the little different things that could have/should have gone differently, which would have prevented everything from spinning so out of control... if only she had raised her concerns in person, we could have had a dialogue; if only she had accused me when I wasnít going through a horrible depression; etc.

Does anyone else obsess over all the minute details like that?

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Three Roses

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Re: My Story
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 12:18:34 AM »
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Does anyone else obsess over all the minute details like that?
Yes! But that's a path that, at least for me, leads to nothing but bitterness and endless rehashing of events, already in the past and unchangeable. What I can do when I realize I'm beating myself up is to focus on the here and now (mindfulness - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356 (which also advocates meditation but the emptying required in meditation seems triggering to some of us, as we've discovered).

Walking down the same mental path wears a rut, making it easier for that to be my default; so by redirecting my thoughts I can make it more difficult for my mind to automatically "go there" next time around. See http://pete-walker.com/shrinkingInnerCritic.htm, all very good info but you can scroll about half way down to read about "thought substitution".

I'm glad you're here! But having had the upbringing you've had, you may also find our sister site Out Of The Fog very helpful, especially as you're in contact with your parents. https://outofthefog.website and the forum https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php

Best wishes to you as you navigate all this! We're here for you and glad you've found us. Here's a :hug: if it's okay

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slipping

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Re: My Story
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2019, 02:30:52 AM »
Thanks Three Roses 

The Pete Walker article on the inner self-critic is spot on.

This is the thought process I fell into during my recent episode: catastrophizing.

From the Pete Walker article; the appropriate thought replacement for catastrophizing:

“Drasticizing/Catastrophizing/Hypochondrisizing - I feel afraid but I am not in danger. I am not “in trouble” with my parents. I will not blow things out of proportion. I refuse to scare myself with thoughts and pictures of my life deteriorating. No more home-made horror movies and disaster flicks.“

Hard to do in the moment though.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 03:35:24 AM by slipping »