Black And White…

Black and White….For those of you who may find this hard to understand, those who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder think in black and white terms.  In one minute they may dislike, even hate someone, the next minute idealize them or vice versa.  We have trouble seeing the gray, the middle ground in ourselves or in others, we and others are either all good or all bad– this is called splitting.
All humans feel various moods throughout the day, however in Borderline Personality Disorder it is difficult to cope with emotions felt, escalating into other emotions, until we are overwhelmed, “drowning,” if you will, in all of these emotions.  Also, please remember that at this time I was going through severe withdrawal, intensifying the situation described…. Also, this is a continuation of  the posts “Strung Out” and “The Beginning”,  just to make sense 🙂

My next stop in the screening for the research study I was participating in  was the psychiatrist office, after speaking to the psychologist subject 21016 was very discouraged.  She had told me that patients were sometimes with her for 10+ years.  This was not an option for me, I would not give 10 more years of my life to these people who could only know from textbooks what the life of someone with BPD was.  The door opened, he looked at me curiously, I could feel the tingling in my chest, he knows I’m crazy.  I sat down awkwardly and said nothing.  He talked in a monotone, robotic voice.  Everything about him told me he had no EMOTION.  He TERRIFIED me and intrigued me at the same time.  I wanted for an instant to live in his body, walk around without FEELING, of course he was human and must have emotion but all his cues, from the way he looked at me blankly, to the matter of fact way he spit out my rights and rules of the study immediately brought me back to kindergarten.  I have very little recollection of kindergarten but one image sticks out in my mind.  My Dad had come to pick me up early, I was so happy to be away from all these strange children and the teacher.  Quickly, I got my coat and ran to my father.  I whispered something in his ear.  I could see the teacher– tall, thin, perfectly placed hair, perfectly placed makeup, look at me blankly and say “Oh, so you do talk?”  In kindergarten I had never said a word the whole year.  Without emotion this woman with one sentence completely INVALIDATED me, like there was something wrong with me.  The doctor in front of me could have been that teacher.  “You are very DEPRESSED”, he said to me matter of factly.  I almost laughed out loud. Very depressed?  I was hanging on to life by a thread.  All those years in medical school and his conclusion was I was very depressed?  I think the homeless man on the street could have figured that one out.  With that I became ENRAGED, then  FRIGHTENED, then ANXIOUS.  I was intimidated by this robot.  What was it like in his world, where people die, he grieves for a little and moves on, where people leave forever and he actually goes to work the next day.  I looked at his hands.  He had no wedding ring.  I could picture him walking home every night ALONE, quickly to read one of his science journals.  He had no pets of that I was sure, he wasn’t able to give love to a pet or a wife or a friend.  I started HATING him.  He was inhuman, a computer, talking to me about the brain and how it works, who gives a shit?  What about the heart and the soul?  Have you ever been WOUNDED so deeply you cant get out of bed? I thought.  Probably not.  He wasn’t capable.  I told him about my thyroid problem and for some reason started sobbing out of fear of him.  He saw me sobbing, he heard me sobbing, yet said nothing.  He didn’t even offer a stupid tissue.   He was so different than me, how could he possibly understand what was going on inside?  “Aha”, he said.  “I believe your depression is because of your thyroid.”  I HATED him more.  Then GUILT  for hating him. Than ANXIETY for the GUILT for HATING  him. Then EMPATHY for a man who had devoted his whole life to his career and had no one to hold at night.  It was a jigsaw puzzle of feelings, mixed up , I couldn’t put it together and make it whole.

HATRED again.

How could he be so stupid?  My DEPRESSION  is because of my thyroid?  I had been depressed since childhood, and depression was a quarter of my problems.  Did the thyroid cause my fear of being alone?  Did the thyroid cause my impulsive spending?  Did the thyroid cause the intense EMPTINESS  inside?  Did the thyroid cause me to push away everyone I loved?  Did the thyroid cause the hatred I had of myself, my CONFUSION, my ANXIETY, my WANTING TO DIE… But subject 21016 signed herself to this man’s care anyway and with that got up gave him a smile, he smiled back… Can’t be that bad, I thought…


2 Responses

  1. I don’t understand how some people can be so detached. I could never sit in front of someone and just ignore their pain. (Unless, of course, they’ve done something to me. But even then, I don’t think i could just sit there unaffected.)

    I hated him, too, for blaming your depression on your thyroid problem. I had a rheumatologist once tell me to go see a therapist, rather than acknowledging my chronic joint pain and trying to find a solution. I’ve also had a physical rehab specialist tell me to get a gym membership for the same chronic pain. I wish that people were more sympathetic and tried harder to understand what is going on with other people rather than just writing it off.

    Your feelings are real. Your pain is real. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t wait to see what comes of this. I hope it all turns out for the best.

  2. I know i was amazed at how completely numb everyone was, but in hindsight, I guess you become immune when you see it so often. I cant wait to see what comes of it as well…

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