Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The specific incident

So that's the problem.  That other post.  Then there is trying to figure out why I want Sarah here so much.  After she explained to me yesterday that she can't live with my explosive anger because it is too much like her mother I went over to my friend Wikipedia.  Borderline personality disorder.  Oh that is so me.  Yeah.

Thing is, I have been absolutely over my stress point for a long time.  I don't know how possible it is for me to get my anger issues under control without getting my stress levels under control.

So what happened is once we got home and I saw the kitchen in that state I walked into Sarah's room and she was asleep.  I stomped into the kitchen and started cleaning.  I did so with a lot of banging and slamming.  I basically threw the asparagus pot into the cabinet and in the process I broke a glass pan.  Sarah says she cleaned that up for me.  I then slammed open the other cabinet door and clipped Calli's fingers because she was closer than I thought.  It barely touched her, but it scared the crap out of her.

I honestly can't remember the next sequence of events very well but I exchanged words with Sarah and she responded with hostility because she didn't feel she deserved my anger and I kicked the cabinet doors off the wall.

Full stop that isn't acceptable behavior.  I need to never do anything of the kind again or I should probably not be alone with my children.  I don't believe in pie crust promises.  You don't say you are going to do something and then just carry along with your life.

I have to lower the stress in my life.  One of the things that Sarah provides for me is that she has lived with an emotionally unstable mother and I feel very uncertain about the amount of time that Noah is gone.  I feel worried about how I will be later.  And yet having Sarah here makes everything harder and makes me feel constantly closer to the edge than I did before she got here.  There is so much more volatility with her here.  Because either I have to nitpick and remind her of everything or I have to do it or it doesn't get done.

Is it getting better?  Is she noticing more and doing more?  Well... yes... but she is about to go from being home pretty much all the time to having two days a week where she is voluntarily on campus for 12 hours.  And she'll still have a meds day.  I anticipate a sudden and dramatic drop in what she does around the house.  And I'm going to either have to nitpick her or roll with it.  I'm feeling very trapped.

It doesn't help that part of the reason I feel ok doing Noah's share of the work is because we have specifically negotiated things around the fact that he bloody well supports me in a life of lavish luxury by my standards.  I feel a lot of gratitude for that.  I'm fairly happy to do extra work for someone who provides me with a life this good.  I don't have such an attitude towards Sarah.  I feel like I am working myself this hard for nothing.  So that she doesn't even have to send me a text message saying that she isn't feeling well or ask when should dinner be ready.

And yet, I kicked the cabinet door off.  No one should live with that.  My children should not be exposed to that.  I'm going to buy a punching bag.  I have a powerful need to hit and there are appropriate ways to deal with it.  I need to just do it.

It was interesting reading the BPD article.  This part near the end was interesting to me:

The features of BPD include emotional instability, intense unstable interpersonal relationships, a need for relatedness and a fear of rejection. As a result, people with BPD often evoke intense emotions in those around them. Pejorative terms to describe persons with BPD such as “difficult,” “treatment resistant,” “manipulative,” “demanding” and “attention seeking" are often used, and may become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the clinician's negative response triggers further self-destructive behaviour.[102] In psychoanalytic theory, this stigmatization may be thought to reflect countertransference (when a therapist projects their own feelings on to a client), as people with BPD are prone to use defense mechanisms such as splitting and projective identification. Thus the diagnosis "often says more about the clinician's negative reaction to the patient than it does about the patient ... as an expression of counter transference hate, borderline explains away the breakdown in empathy between the therapist and the patient and becomes an institutional epithet in the guise of pseudoscientific jargon" (Aronson, p 217).[84]
This inadvertent counter transference can give rise to inappropriate clinical responses including excessive use of medication, inappropriate mothering and punitive use of limit setting and interpretation.[103] People with BPD are seen as among the most challenging groups of patients, requiring a high degree of skill and training in the psychiatrists, therapists and nurses involved in their treatment.[104] While some clinicians agree with the diagnosis under the name "borderline personality disorder", some would like the name to be changed.[105] One critique says that some who are labeled "Borderline Personality Disorder" feel this name is unhelpful, stigmatizing, and/or inaccurate.[105]

Sarah and I are each working through our mother-issues.  I don't know how to work through mine without writing.  And that's not always a fun experience for people standing near me.  My mother denies all blame or responsibility for everything that happened during my childhood.  She was always quick to blame other people for what happened.  I have inappropriate coping mechanisms around that. Because if I got angry as a child I could get people to do what I needed them to do for a while.  Yeah, it was the whole walking on egg shells thing.

That's not very useful as an adult and it isn't what I want to teach my kids.  What do I want to teach my kids?

I don't know.  But not what I am doing.  And before people provide me with a list of "stop ____" admonishments... the problem is you have these coping methods for a reason.  You need to find a different way of coping, not just stop what you are doing.  My methods have been steadily increasing in intensity for a while here.  I need to express a whole lot of limits and see how that lands.  I have to stop hurting myself so that I can let people encroach on me in ways they don't even know they are doing.

It's really easy to feel like the whole problem is my fault.  If I only did _____ everything would be fine.  But that's not true either.  I really can't fix everything.

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