Tuesday, June 22, 2010

an honest post

borderline personality disorder is a product of your environment. my therapist is treating me for BPD. of the 9 criteria to be officially diagnonsensed with this mental illness you only have to meet 5. i met all 9. apparently the chaotic lifestyle my parents gave us growing up is a contributing factor to this. drug addiction and impulsive sexual relationships is also a symptom. i read parent of addicts blogs and i completely emphasize with them. i feel bad that their children are causing them harm emotionally, i sometimes take it on.

i read a comment the other day from a mom of an addict and she says calling it a disease is giving us an excuse for our behavior instead of accepting responsibility for it. this makes me sad. when i hear parents say 'oh i tried that nar anon it doesn't work.' what you are then showing your addicts is to continue to have a closed mind on recovery because it doesn't work for you it won't work for them. why not continue the cycle of self loathing, fear and hate we got nothing better to do right? ever heard the term lead by example? that is exactly what you are doing by refusing to see you need help for yourself in what you are being put through, you are then showing your addict they don't need help for what they are putting you through.

growing up was very chaotic. i don't blame my parents for my mistakes or my actions, i never have, that is why i am still on step 8. i think what i did to them is unforgivable and i don't want to forgive myself. in doing this i am keeping myself sick. well guess what now i have been diagnosed with another condition, BPD and if you do research you will see it stems from a chaotic home where the environment was unstable to say the least. a symptom of that illness is drug addiction. i wonder if i were fractal moms kid or mom and dad's kid would i have ever picked up that first drug. then it makes me wonder if their kids had such a great childhood why did they. i am not saying that to be sarcastic but what i read from mom and dad is they are really stable and productive people. my parents were not. i swear, my father was a drunk and party  supplier to hells angels back in the day. spent years in prison for 2 counts of involuntary manslaughter for drunk driving. my mother was a work a holic and depressed. spent her evenings laying on her bed reading a book. i took care of dinner from the age of 9. i was the one in charge of taking the checks to pac bell and the electric company when they were not paid in time. i would get on a bus and go around town to pay them. i even took my little brother and sister to their parent teacher conferences. mom and dad didn't have time. my father allowed my pervert uncle to live with us. he walked in on him molesting me and beat him up and put him back in his room, with my little brother. yeah. i came from a very unstable home. one time i walked in from school and my little brother was hanging himself from the stair case. i cut him down. he was 10.

i wonder when i hear parents who cannot comprehend or emphasize or even open their eyes to the possibility that something is wrong, were they this close minded when their babies were young?
i know it hurts, i know the path of destruction an addict leaves behind is devastating. sometimes we are just doing the best we were taught. sometimes that is all we know. survival. survival at the animal level.

today i can accept the fact that i am an addict, i have a DISEASE called addiction. I am not responsible for my addiction, I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY RECOVERY. it is now my choice to recover. if it were not for my program and the work i do in my steps i would not be able to look, with an open mind, at this underlying BPD. am i angry at my parents, no, they did the best they could, the only thing they knew how. they loved me, they were not perfect, non of us is or will be. this is me, this is my life, this is who i am. i can go to my therapy and meetings and work my program and take care of me so i can take care of my children that they may not have the same hardships. do i think this means they won't ever pick up? absolutely not. but i know where to go if i ever need help with that. this is a mixture of anger and coming to acceptance in my post. i have not had time to blog much lately as i am super busy with life. i have lost 22 pounds and continuing with weight watchers it is really working i have a great idea for cookbook and graphic arts and still struggle with the fact that i do not have an income but i need to take care of me and i am blessed with a provider to give me that time.

i didn't mean to offend anyone with this post. i have not posted any personal stuff lately and i felt like i was lying to my readers. i needed to get this out of my head.

sometimes i wish i had someone like fractal mom or mom and dad or lou who try so hard for their kids sometimes it feels like my parents didn't. sometimes i am jealous of those kids who seem so spoiled, but then i am grateful for where i am at. i guess i really read those blogs because i really miss my mom and dad. i really appreciate those parents out there who try so hard.


Akelamalu said...

I'm appalled and so sorry that you had the childhood you did. No child should have to live like that. I applaud you for taking your recovery into your own hands and making a success of it. x

Dad and Mom said...

None of us are perfect, not as parents, not as individuals and not as children. Perfection should never be a goal. I accept continous learning and not allowing mistakes to defeat me as legitimate goals. It sounds as if we share those goals.

If you would have talked to me a few years ago, not that long ago, I did not accept addiction as a disease. Addiction was simply a weakness of character and the disease label was simply a permission slip to continue a self destructive lifestyle that was fun.

I don't pretend to understand the physiology of the addicted brain but I have seen enough scans to understand something changes. I observe changes and behaviors that make no sense that have no observable motive other than an illness of the brain and its thought processes. Dumb old me cannot help but deliberate on these things and I draw my own conclusions that addiction is a disease. That can be the only logical conclusion. 1 + 1 = 2, it can't be 3 just because I want it to be 3 or because I don't understand 2. It's the same with addiction and mental illness.

I don't know how one kid follows a path of using drugs and another doesn't. Not in the same family, same neighborhood or any place. I am beginning to grasp it isn't something you can attribute to any one thing in parenting or even the way a child "is". It is so much more complicated. I think there are things a parent can do to help a child resist the lure of drugs but there are no foolproof steps to take.

I am so sorry for all the pain you have had in your life with your parents and upbringing. The important thing to recognize is; what you were is a part of you but it is not you. You are what you are today. You are the person that walks and talks today. Our past may haunt us but it does not define us.

You are trying to be the best parent you can possibly be. You are trying to be the best wife you can possibly be. You are trying to be the best person you possibly can be. WHAT MORE COULD ANYONE POSSIBLY BE????!!!!

clean and crazy said...

thanks dad, i appreciate the time you took to comment and everything you said.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am sorry for your unhappy upbringing and am happy that you are NOW in control of your life. Your recovery is going well, you are moving forward and you will do better as a parent than what you had.
Great job on the weight watchers, you should be proud of all your accomplishments so far!

Mama Zen said...

I would never have guessed that you BPD. I only know you from your blog, of course, but you don't present that way.

Andrea said...

Honesty and sharing your heart is a good thing. I respect you for that..and I am thankful you are able to do that, here.
Blessings and prayers,

Fractalmom said...

i'm really sorry. alot of people misunderstand what i mean, or i fail to get my idea across in an easily understood manner.

i do believe their is a genetic component to addiction. i smoke cigarettes, i am addicted.

i don't know. honestly. i have done much research, and the medical community (research included) is about evenly divided on the disease/choice issue.

if my daughter has a disease called heroin addiction, then why don't all her siblings have it?

if it's genetic then why is she the only one who is addicted to anything at all. her other two sisters and her brother none smoke, or use drugs. they socially drink occasionally.

so i don't really know. what i do know is YOU are working a program faithfully and recovering and my daughter is not.

i am not against nar anon or any other 12 step program. i attend ala non meetings weekly. i'm not sure whatever or whomever gave you the idea i was against them?

none of us know what led our babies to stick needles full of heroin into their arms or to snort their first oxycontin or to smoke it? we just know they are addicts now and it tears up our hearts and our families.

then, we all find a way to cope, or we go nuts.

in my case, a little of both.


Syd said...

I agree that the only thing I can do is take care of my recovery. I can't make another recover or change. I have had to accept that. I am grateful for your honest post. BPD is a tough diagnosis from what I've read. I wish you the best of luck.

Her Big Sad said...

I came over after reading your comment on "mother of a drug addict". I was very impressed with your comment and I found it very helpful. I got here and your most recent blog post was even more insightful. I have been reading your blog for a while, off and on, and I have had a ton of respect for you for that whole while. My respect is still growing.

I appreciated your distinction between not being responsible for your addiction but being responsible for your recovery. I plan to mention some of your thoughts in a letter to my daughter who is in prison at this time.

I wish that we lived closer to each other. I have a feeling I would be honored if I had the chance to get to know you in person. I think my daughter would be blessed to sit in a meeting with you. I pray for you daily, and I just wanted to let you know. Hugs and prayers!

Hope said...

Your honesty is priceless. A real gift. Thank you.