Romantic Relationships and Mental Illness

We went to the theater last night with a friend of my mom’s from our old church. Her daughter had disordered eating and still struggles with severe Borderline Personality Disorder. She tried living on her own once and became non-functional. She almost died. So, her mom said she had to live at home unless she got married. She is 38 and marrying a not-previously-married doctor. There IS hope.

I asked my mom’s friend about her daughter’s relationship. I said, I know statistically, there are plenty of people living with their parents, but the situation is a little different when you still live with your parents because you’re mentally ill. She said, if her daughter can find someone, I can. In fact (I can’t believe she said this! – though, I could see my mom admitting this to someone else), she said she never thought her daughter would get married. She is picky and has many bad habits (aka BPD makes her tough to live with). She said the fiancé is non-judgmental and things were revealed over time like he didn’t learn she lived at home for a while because she met him for dates. He didn’t learn about her impulsive, self-destructive spending sprees until he asked her to share the cost of a weekend trip out of town and she didn’t have a few hundred dollars saved, even though she works full time and doesn’t pay rent. So, he helped her make a budget. It worked. Idk about current SIB, etc., but I’d bet $ that she has scars, just bc it is part of the diagnostic criteria for BPD.

Buffy_dawn cuts

 

Anyway, it makes me think there is hope!  Even more than feeling embarrassed about living at home, I worry I am too damaged for anyone to want, but she was hospitalized way more than me, used many more behaviors, and is older than I am. Her behaviors are more likely to negatively affect others, such as taking a joint credit card and spending thousands of dollars. Of course there are ways around that like not creating any joint bank accounts. She must have other behaviors and/or interpersonal issues based on her diagnosis, but Idk specifics. Maybe she is better now, but she still used behaviors earlier in their relationship. Additionally, they’re having a small wedding because they don’t want to stress her out and she only has 2 friends (sounds familiar!). So, clearly, she is not completely better.

Sometimes I feel like I have to be healthy before starting any relationship. That part of why I pull away when someone gets interested. I’m doing them a favor! At the same time, if I wait to be “normal” I might never have the chance to find someone because I’ll be waiting forever.

Dating and Eating Disorders

I’m trying my hand at online dating again. I haven’t met anyone IRL yet, but I’m nervous because any relationship threatens my eating disorder. I’m reminding myself my eating disorder will ensure I am lonely. I can try to build a life and if it doesn’t work out I can always go back to starving myself better than everyone around me in order to boost my self-esteem.

Hospitals and Hierarchies

Things have been chaotic.

I did not use behaviors yesterday. I slept virtually all day. However, I became acutely suicidal and looked up how to create a noose. Then I made one and tested whether it tightened. It did. For a moment, I considered going through with it. I stopped because I imagined my mom finding my body and how much that would haunt her. I also knew she’d feel immeasurable guilt. My mom needs me because my dad and brother aren’t good supports and they don’t keep in touch. Ginny would feel guilty too. All those realities made me feel guilty.

I realized I don’t actually want to die. I want the pain to stop. I want everything to go away. I want to be good enough to be useful at work… No. I want to matter.

I promised Ginny I’d either go to the ER or call my psychiatrist today. Originally I intended to do that during work, but I decided to go to work today. I was afraid if I skipped again, I’d be too embarrassed to go back. I haven’t called my psychiatrist yet, but I will. I doubt the ER will help. Inpatient won’t help me. They can’t fix me. They might keep me alive for a bit, but my intent waxes and wanes too much.

Supernatural_dean_sigh

My mom finally saw my leg. Her reaction was better than usual. She was sad and tried to help me problem solve. The issue is that her solutions aren’t actually helpful. She thinks she knows what I need to be happy and pushes those things. She is right that a boyfriend and a higher paying job would help in some ways. However, I love my current job. Eventually I want a family and I’ll need to meet someone to start a family with, but I’m not in a place where I can handle a relationship. Ugh. I was fine before I started typing this. Now, as I type this paragraph, I’m getting the urge to cut. That was last night.

This morning she was talking AT me. I got annoyed and snippy and then she got mad.

Also, I’ve lost weight and she is upset about that. I haven’t been restricting. In fact, I binged yesterday and never purged. So, I have no idea how I lost weight. Nonetheless, now she is convinced I’m restricting or purging.

Work was pretty good. I was with the kid with down syndrome all day. He was cute, as usual. He always makes me smile. He was mostly compliant and had very few behaviors. I’m still annoyed by the way they’re handling the kid I was with for a year because I still think they’re screwing up. I was able to let it go. Ha, clearly I’m not over it. What I mean by letting it go is that I was able to focus on my student and not self-injure.

I miss being in the action with the more aggressive kids. I feel useless and unwanted or second rate. Of course my opinions are ignored when I’m stuck with the easy kids. Who would listen to me?! I’m suspicious of why I’m always with the easier kids these days. I think someone thinks I am inept.

First Meet…

Guess who ditched? Guess who also forgot to set up a safe call? Just because I’ve been insanely lucky thus far with my blatant disregard for my own safety doesn’t mean it’ll last. *sigh* I didn’t plan on ditching, but I got scared…I keep myself emotionally safe with distance and detachment.

Tara_surprised

Maybe it is more my fault than I thought that my brother and I aren’t close.

Why should I Miss Out on a Relationship to Pass as Straight?

While watching my favorite Kahlan x Cara video again *squee*

I thought to myself, ” If I could have the dynamic I seek with a woman, why should I settle just so I can continue passing as straight?”

If I wanted to, I could chose to ignore any same-sex attraction because I am attracted to both genders. It would make life easier. My parents and grandparents would be blissfully ignorant and I wouldn’t need to worry about discrimination. Then I thought, my family would get over it. At least I’m pretty sure my mom would eventually. She accepted my uncle quickly when he came out, but I bet accepting your child would cause different issues than accepting your brother. As for other people, why would I want to work for bigots or surround myself with mean people? I should not have to deny how I love, like with BDSM, OR who I love to please other people.

Dating, Maybe…

I’m seriously considering getting back in the game. All of your comments, likes, and talking to my brother and sister-in-law, gives me confidence. I’m even talking to people on Fetlife again. …Shh.

However, school starts again on the 9th. I need to put a lot more effort into this semester. School always causes anxiety or depression. In turn, I brush people off or ignore them, not because I dislike them or don’t care, but because I am too wrapped up in anxiety or sadness. Half of my relationships ended because of the distance I created as a result of school and more than one budding relationship stopped because I accidentally gave the impression that I did not like the person.

BDSM Stigma or When family recommends sex therapy

Last night my mom was still harping about the online dating idea. She would not accept my excuses. Finally, I said I was not in a place to date. She wouldn’t let it go So, I told her I needed to figure out some things about myself. The first thing she asked was, “Are you gay?”

I said, “No.”

Her response? “Are you sure?” Hahaha. I did not mention is bi issue because I know she thinks non-heterosexual behavior is morally wrong. Sometimes she talks about how she is worried about my gay uncles’ souls (her brother and his partner).

However, she still wouldn’t give up, saying, “Now I’m worried.”

Since I give her plenty of other reasons to worry. I gave-in and said, “Do you remember the BDSM thing? …” Thankfully, I did not have to explain it to her. However, it was awkward. Her reaction hurt my feelings, but  it could have been a lot worse.

Last night I learned:

1. My mom does not think BDSM in inherently wrong.

Yay!

2. She associates sadism and masochism with antisocial personality disorder (aka sociopaths).

First, she questioned out loud whether I was a sociopath. She didn’t really consider it. After all, she has known me forever and knows, if anything, I have too much empathy. However the idea that she would even consider for a moment, that I lack empathy, along with all the other implications of anti-social personality disorder, because I identify as a masochist or submissive saddens me. If the woman with a PhD in clinical psychology, who has known me longer than anyone on Earth, associates BDSM with antisocial personality disorder and other stigma, so strongly that she reconsiders my personality make-up, how can I expect anyone to accept this? Granted, I don’t go around talking about this IRL. However, knowing there is a huge part of me that I can never reveal to others for fear of reprisal also makes me sad.

Also if she thinks so poorly of sadists, what can she possibly think of me?

3. She thinks masochism will kill me.

She told me a story of a man in our town who was convicted for something (obstruction of justice? involuntary manslaughter? I don’t know), after his wife died during breath play and he burned the house down to try to cover it up. I don’t know if this is the same couple my previous Dom warned me about. He never mentioned a fire to hide evidence. He said they were too afraid to go to the E.R. because of stigma and she died. It sounds like a different couple. Regardless, I don’t feel too bad for the guy, setting his house on fire was a stupid move that made him look guilty of murder. My mom associates sadomasochism with accidental death and sociopaths. She says sadism is a symptom of antisocial personality disorder and there are more “messed up” people in this community than in the general population. Therefore, she thinks either I will die in an accident, or I will meet up with a serial killer or abuser. I told her I am not an idiot I know to meet people in public places and tell someone who I am meeting and where. She replied, “Great, so we know where to start looking for your body. That is comforting.” Also, she seems to forget that I’m not exactly the picture of mental health. If I don’t want someone who is “messed up”, why would anyone want me?! As far as accidents, yes sadomasochism can be dangerous, but well-informed people can take precautions.

4. She doesn’t seem to understand that sadism does not equal masochism.

Damn you Freud! There are masochists without any sadistic tendencies.

5. She thinks it is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned.

I’m not sure about this. I did a few hours of research and it seems man masochists do not know of their proclivities until young adulthood. Where the hell did 5 year old me learn such things?! Since it began so young for me, I tend to think it is inborn. I asked why she thought it needed therapy, if she thought there was nothing wrong with it. She explained her fears about the difficulty of finding a kind, mentally healthy life partner.

Since she believes finding a good husband would be more difficult in the BDSM world and BDSM is prone to accidental death, she thinks if I can chose not to be another way, I should because BDSM invites trouble. She suggested vanilla dating and then more therapy if I find vanilla is not for me.

6. She believes I have an abnormally high pain threshold. Therefore, it makes sense to her that “normal” sensation may not appeal to me.

Yes, I agree.

7. She thinks I should date 24+ vanilla men and see if I am capable of non-kinky arousal.

She thinks I have not had a enough vanilla experience to know that I’m really not aroused by vanilla things. She is correct, most of my experience has been kinky. It still seems dishonest to get into a relationship purely to explore. She thinks I need to try becoming emotionally attached to vanilla dates and see if physical intimacy has a spark when I care about someone. I see her point here. Yet, it seems like a lot of work. She pointed out that people break-up all the time, just because I may break-up with someone because of this doesn’t make it unfair to them. Essentially, she suggests the opposite of my commenters suggest, instead of exploring more kink, she thinks I should try to ignore it and explore vanilla. I’m not sure why, but her idea gives me a negative feeling, while the opposite does not.

She insists she sees nothing wrong with BDSM on its face, but she also thinks I should get therapy to fix this if I try more vanilla things and nothing works.