Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Everyday Noticing Of What It Is Like Living With BPD & HPD

Introduction to This Blog Series

I was 27 years old when I entered into the realization that there was something wrong with me and one of the original diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD. 

I say something wrong with me because I was just not able to manage my life on my own and somehow knew there was something wrong with my mind.

Back then, not a lot was known about this horribly stigmatized disorder because BPD patients were considered impossible to treat or wrongly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. 

Along with BPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) were also added to my diagnostic mix.

ADHD was quickly debunked and over the past two decades most professionals leaned towards my having PTSD or a Dissociative Disorder – but something about these disorders never seemed to fit.

Add menopause to the mix and the confusion became even more confusing.

Anxiety

Here are past blogs I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and what felt like PTSD or DDNOS:

Alcohol Addiction

As well, I have a history of alcohol addiction.

On February 17th, 2020 I began living an alcohol-free life.

My Struggles With Alcohol Can be Read in These Blogs:

Present Day

At 52 years old, and after a thorough assessment by a seasoned psychiatrist – I was finally properly diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

This blog series called Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder is my way of processing and understanding these complex personality disorders and how they manifest, interfere with and enhance my life.

And, as it has been said to me from friends who have family members with Borderline Personality Disorder, perhaps I can help dispel misconceptions and stigmas associated with these mental illnesses.

As well, perhaps I can shed some light and more personal information on what living with Histrionic Personality Disorder is like, for those who are also walking this path.

With hope,

Stephanie, 💛

March 30th, 2016 - Paris, France - Louvre Museum - Me and Mona Lisa
March 30th, 2016 – Paris, France – Louvre Museum – Me and Mona Lisa

Preamble

In my blog Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anger & Lettin’ Loose & How BPD Am I? I wonder how BPD I am and how I have looked out there in the world.

I also write about how I let myself sink into BPD intense emotions – but at that time I was taking medically prescribed CBD and THC – and that seemed to intensify BPD emotions.

Because of this unwanted side effect, I stopped taking CBD and THC.

Here is the blog about that as I write about the pros and cons of medically prescribed CBD and THC: Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Pros and Cons of Medical THC & CBD

It has been two months since I’ve stopped taking CBD and THC.

As well, I do not drink alcohol.

I live a pretty clean life now.

Including exercise as I am an avid runner.

And a clean life in how we eat.

We eat plant based proteins and fish – not meat. We include lots of salads, vegetables and fruits into our diet, and pay attention to the type of bread we choose and the amount of junk food and sugars we eat.

As mentioned in my blog Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anxious – Ambivalent (Preoccupied) Attachment Style I’ve started watching Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT videos on a regular basis on Dr. Jennifer May’s YouTube channel.

This helps me prepare for my DBT sessions with my therapist.

Another benefit of this action brings the language and techniques of DBT to the forefront of my mind.

The more of Dr. May’s DBT and other helpful videos I watch, the more the skills they offer are fresh in my mind to then recall as I go about my day.

On top of this, I have emotionally settled – some – since my diagnoses.

My therapist and I have agreed to postpone EMDR because it brings up a lot and I’m not living in my own space right now. Once we are in our own space I will have the safety to process what comes up for me.

What else is interesting is how I’ve grown (some) since I’ve written the EMDR blog, meaning my ability to settle – some – when I’m flooded with BPD emotions. Originally, EMDR was brought in to help calm the strong BPD emotions, but there is also what EMDR brings up from the past.

I look forward to eventually starting EMDR – because there are parts of my past that bring up such strong emotional responses – I want new pathways to them.

Here is my blog on EMDR – Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Start of EMDR – Creating New Pathways to Calm

So, as a result of all the above mentioned, I feel more clear on “seeing” BPD and HPD within me.

Everyday Noticing Of What It Is Like Living With BPD & HPD

Hopefully, I do not disappoint you the reader, because my list isn’t long. I do not want to overwhelm myself and start to feel shame as I start digging into this.

Yet, what makes this meaningful for me is the level of noticing – meaning my ability to clearly identify BPD and HPD specific symptoms when they happen.

Here goes:

  • BPD – Dissociation – Feeling out of touch with reality – I notice when I feel like I am outside of myself – disconnected – and that whatever it is I am doing feels dreamlike – not real. Like I am in a movie and everything around me does not seem real. This is hard to describe. I feel like I am the movie camera looking at my experience (whatever it is) through its lens. My eyes are the lens.
  • BPD – Abandonment – Problems with real or perceived abandonment – This is almost a daily occurrence for me – from coworkers who I think don’t like me anymore to my husband thinking other women are better than me and he wants them more. This is not that my coworkers and husband are doing anything that deserves my abandonment reaction, it is because I PERCEIVE it that way. I can’t see everything that makes me, me (part of the reason I post pictures of me in my blog – so I can see myself and my life) and then think I am quickly disposable = forgettable = invisible. THIS ABANDONMENT FEELS LIKE AN INDESCRIBABLE FEAR, SOMETIMES TERROR OF LOSING THAT PERSON.
  • BPD – Abandonment – Problems with real or perceived abandonmentTrust issues – TEFLON EFFECT – This term is relatively new for me – taught to me from one of Dr. May’s videos – I can’t remember which one exactly. The Teflon Effect is my not connecting to and believing what safe people tell me – their words slide off me like Teflon – because I just can’t bear letting their words in, believing them, then possibly being betrayed and my heart be broken again. Dr. May’s suggestion is just be brave enough to trust 1% more. To let the words of those who are safe to me, come into my heart, just 1% more.
  • BPD – Idealizing then hating people – I am the worst judge of character because when I meet you, a few things will happen: I think you are the best thing since sliced bread and ignore any red flags that might be screaming at me. Then, once I am hurt by one of the red flags I ignored (may take many hurts as I am good at ignoring red flags), I hate you and want nothing more to do with you. There is no middle ground. Or I do not get any red flags and start to let you in and think everything is “perfect”, then you be a part of the human race and disappoint me (as humans will do to each other) and as a result I think the worst of you. I start thinking of all the ways you’re not good for me and pull away.
  • BPD – Excessive emotional responses – I feel emotions so strong, it feels like I am possessed by them. Examples are seeing an animal killed by a vehicle (road kill) I am overcome with anger wishing the government would put fences up along major highways to prevent such needless death of animals to overwhelming sadness at their death. Once I am in an emotion, it is hard to get out of it. It can take up to a few hours or days even, to completely shake it off.
  • BPD – Unclear and unstable self-concept – I understand this to be who I think I am in the world. When I think of myself – I draw a blank. I cannot see anything. I forget everything I’ve done throughout my life or my characteristics. I feel like an empty space. I cannot define myself. I have only been able to define myself in how other’s view me. I cannot see myself outside of myself. I feel like a fraud or I am faking my life. This is one reason I have my blog – so I can “see” myself and try to let that sink in. Even when I look at pictures of me, I think to myself that that is what I look like? Hard to explain, this is.
  • HPD – Easily influenced by others or situations – I notice/feel this more as I do it and am more aware to not do it. There are so many examples I could give. I know I am doing this because I am sacrificing my own personal beliefs or desires or needs to please another or not upset someone else. It used to feel like I was a leave blowing in the wind, easily led by others without any spine or backbone or voice of my own. As well, was my feeling that I needed the approval from others to give myself permission to exist.

That is it for now.

HPD symptoms are harder to talk about.

In that odd way that there are no coincidences, I felt compelled to add my picture with the Mona Lisa instead of my photo with the Eiffel Tower.

I know very little about this painting, except that it is very famous, perhaps because the woman in the picture has never been able to be identified.

I Googled why the Mona Lisa is so famous and I found this explanation from the Britannica website, Why Is The Mona Lisa So Famous:

The unknown identity has thus lent the figure to whatever characterization people wanted to make of her.

Very fitting…

Sounds a bit like how I have thought about myself for most of my life.

S,💛

Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder

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