Ok so there is more than BPD going on here, I know that. Or maybe I don’t, I’m not a health professional – I just FEEL. I am no longer a grown-up.
I’ve known for years about the C-PTSD but haven’t done anything about it. Yep. Independent me, attempting to live with trigger avoidance. So I don’t know whether this is a BPD thing or a C-PTSD thing or other. It doesn’t matter. It is just FEAR!!!
As I open my mind and acknowledge emotion and attempt to control, as I rebuild a spider’s web of new pathways over my broken mind … there is a something. A somewhere that I don’t want to go.
I keep suddenly finding myself in places my overly sensitive mind seems to have blocked out. Things I never remembered, things that have not existed in my memory are just … I find myself in places, and I’m seeing, I’m smelling, I’m feeling, and these experiences are suddenly and unexpectedly there. I don’t know how old I am, because I am little. I am so little. The me that is in the here and now can judge by the size of the furniture that is suddenly around me when I come out. The visual perspective. I am too small to see what is on the kitchen table. I have to be lifted up. I don’t want to be. It’s too scary. POTATOES! Potatoes are terrifying.
Armchairs are big. Bigger than me. So is the stuffed panda. I can judge by the depth of the steps on the stairs and how high I have to lift my legs and the fact that someone has to hold my hand. Grown-ups have to help me. I can’t see them. I am just aware of them holding my hand or lifting me when I don’t want to be lifted.
There are two “doors” that aren’t doors but two half memories that are images, sensations and terrible, terrifying feelings. I don’t want to investigate and acknowledge these. I want them to go away. I am not ready for whatever is there. And I never knew something was there.
This aspect of whatever the hell it is going on is knocking me for six. It freaks me out.
And then I regress, and I am incapable. I have periods where suddenly I am emotionally and mentally no more than four years old. That’s at my oldest. I’m trying to run a business. But I’m four. I can’t do anything. I don’t understand anything. Everything just becomes so hard. Problems are soooooo BIG.
I am unable to do the simplest of things. My line trimmer broke. A neighbour, a mere two doors away repairs these for a living. I know him. He looks after my mower and trimmer. Could I go there? No. Well, eventually – after almost two months of freaking out about how to and what to say, just in case whatever … Because if I walked this damned thing around the corner and it was a big problem then how could I deal with it? What if it would cost a lot of money? What if it were permanently broken? What if I needed a new one? What if, horror of horrors he tried to sell me a new one? I would have to obey, wouldn’t I? I would have to do as he told me because – well, he’s a man isn’t he and I have to obey, or else I will be hurt. I will be punished, and I am afraid.
My tumble dryer broke. I need a tumble dryer. I have a lot of laundry. I could go to a laundromat but … I can look up to find where one is but … I have to get there. I have to drive. In a car. And I need to organise it. I need to work out how to get there. I need to know what I need. How do I make the machines work? Is there enough space to park my car? How many doors are there? How will I get money? Is there an ATM? Do they have machines that give change because ATMs don’t. Will bad people be there? What if I have to turn right? What if there are too many people? What if the hills on the way there are too steep? What if it doesn’t have a car park? How will I get my laundry into the laundromat? Is it going to be smelly? How many entrances are there? How many escape routes? I can’t be somewhere that only has one door. What if I get trapped by an evil man? I would need a map. I knew where to find a map and a map with an aerial view which is absolutely essential, but what if the map showed dangerous terrain? What if the map didn’t have an easy escape route? What if there was a blockage, a trap, a fire? What if someone rammed into the side of me and my car exploded?
I spent one month tripping out about this. I did my laundry by hand. But my washing line is under a tree, and I had to keep washing and rewashing due to leaves and birds and possums. The water is hard; it made my towels stiff. I need soft towels. How could I wash my towels without them getting stiff? Detergent and hard water are problematic. I must use berries and lots of water. And keep soaking and dampening and trying to dry towels in different ways. With a hairdryer. With an iron. Inside. Outside. Nothing worked.
I had to ask an ex-husband to drive up from the city and take me to a laundromat and help me.
That’s how I’ve been living for the last couple of months. The simplest things are just so hard. How can you explain this to other people? I can’t ask for help easily. I’m supposed to be a grown-up, but I’m not. I can’t say to someone else, “Can you please take my line trimmer around to the repairman in case he does something scary and wants me to buy a new one?”
How screwed up is that?
How can I work when I’m like that? I try to ask for help. I try to say it is too hard. But no-one understands my language. They think I’m a competent, capable fifty-one-year-old businesswoman.
How do I tell someone that suddenly, I’m just a child?