For the past six months, I would class myself as being in recovery from Borderline. To a large extent, I no longer meet the criteria in the DSM-IV although I may sometimes display habits or quirks that are reminiscent of my past disorder. I still struggle with maintaining relationships, reading people using their body language (and getting it right) and sometimes with low mood, but I see those as more ‘normal’ problems than ‘disordered’ problems, aka: problems experienced in the daily life of a lot of people in the world, not just in the world of the Borderline.
It has been exactly one year today that I have stopped self harming. On October 16th last year I cut myself over Simon, a man who screwed me over, or more importantly, a man I let into my life and LET him screw me over. On that day, I decided that would be the last damn time I let anyone make me feel like that. Bad enough to want to harm myself. A ‘new me’ was born.
Don’t get me wrong, there has been occasions since then when I have wanted to, but I have resisted. When I was desperate, I came on to my blog and looked at the countdown timer that read how many days I had been ‘cut free’, and imagined in going back to zero, and how many people would be saddened or disappointed by that. It helped a lot.
The last two days have been seriously awful, and the only saving grace (and most people wouldn’t see this as a saving grace but I do) is that it has been NORMAL things that have made them so awful, and nothing caused by mental illness.
My dad has prostate cancer, and for the last couple of weeks, each time I went to the house (I go there once a day to drop my dog off as he stays there when I am at work) he has been on the sofa, under a duvet. I talked to my sister, and we both thought that maybe the cancer had spread. Then on Tuesday morning, my mum told me that my dad had gone to the hospital to have some tests. That the hormone treatment was no longer working, that the cancer had spread to his hip bone and that he needs chemotherapy.
I was told this information over the phone, and when I hung up, I sat there and cried. I had gone to my car so I could take the call out of the office, and tried to get myself back together to go back to the office. Every time I think about it, even now, two days later, I well up. I don’t think I am strong enough to get through this, let alone support my dad through it. He seems to be in good spirits but I feel like I am falling apart.
I find it very hard to deal with things with my parents. Anything else, and it is absolutely fine, I can be open, I can emotional and I can be myself. But my parents, in front of them I cannot show emotion, I cannot show I care. It’s really hard to explain and I don’t know why it happens. The thought of saying to my dad “Are you okay Dad? How are you feeling?” makes my stomach go into somersaults. I don’t want him to think I don’t care and time is running out. In fact the opposite is true, I care too much. But something is stopping me from showing it.
My mum runs a business which I work for (I have talked about this before but for those new to my blog it might help to set the scene). She is now taking more time off, which is fair enough in the circumstances but it means I now have to step up and take more control of the business in her absence. The pressure I feel is immense but if I don’t do this, the business will just stop functioning. As it is to be signed over to me in future, it really is in my best interests to make sure it continues to do well.
On that same day, the new girl at work dropped a bombshell on me. She is young, newly married but very keen to progress through the business. If I am being honest, I was hoping to train her up to be my ‘second in command’ because over the next few years maybe I will be lucky enough to start a family with James. We have talked about it, and if I could, I would try to have a baby now. I am desperate to have a child. I don’t know why, maybe my biological clock has just gone up a gear, but it is all I can seem to think about it. James and I have decided not to do anything yet because 1) We have only been together 8 months, 2) We are not married (not saying I want to be but it would be nice to be at least engaged) 3) Our house only has one bedroom – we need to have the extension done 4) We don’t have the money yet. So, we were thinking in the near future maybe we could try, but then in the back of my mind also I have the worry, what if my PCOS means I am infertile and I won’t know until I try!
Anyway, I digress. This new girl tells me on Tuesday that she is pregnant. On a professional level, this is awful. With all the laws to do with employment, she in effect, has us over a barrel even though she has only been working for us for 4 weeks and was already pregnant at her interview. Cue me ranting and raving about how annoyed and p*ssed off I am about the situation to James and my mum. On a personal level, I don’t think I can sit for nine months watching her grow and blossom all the while being desperate to be pregnant myself. It is like having my face rubbed in it and the thought of it makes me want to cry.
I do wonder what I would be like as a mother. I wonder whether Borderline is hereditary. I wonder if I will make the same mistakes as my own mother did and whether it will have the same effect on my child. As I grow older, I am slowly understanding and realising my own faults and why things happened when they did. I am beginning to understand that my parents did they best they could, and that I should not blame them for things they did that were out of love and lack of understanding rather than malice.
Then today – the new girl comes in in a state – she has started bleeding. I have mixed emotions but thankfully, the strongest emotion I have for her is sympathy – at least this means I am after all a decent person. I am not glad she is potentially having a miscarriage. I am not a nasty person!
James has been really good and supportive about my Dad, and that is one positive. I told him I don’t think I am strong enough to cope with the upcoming months but he told me he would be there for me. Then I suddenly realised something today, something amazing. For the first time since I was 12 years old and cut myself for the very first time, a stressful and painful situation has arisen, and the thought of cutting has not even entered my head.
Maybe this means I am entering the last phases of my recovery. I know I will never be fully recovered but I hope I can live a good, happy life with a little work. I am not looking forward to the next few months. Just thinking about my dad makes me well up. He is everything to me and I don’t know how I will live without him. You never think this will happen to you so never take anything for granted.