Of Tambourines and Heart Shards

So, people are doing that end of the year thing. You know, the year (or, decade, for that matter) in review, reflection, 2019 wrapped or unwrapped, etc. thing.

Can I be bothered to do one? Does it really matter if I do do one? Does anyone really care to read about my 2019? No joke, it has been the best of times and it has been the worst of times.

In typical BPD fashion, it’s been an ‘I hate you, don’t leave me!’ year all the way around. I have made beautiful connections of love and friendship this year. And, I have also made frustrating enemies/opponents that I really didn’t need (yeah, I know, that sounds overly dramatic, but it’s unfortunately true). I have loved intensely and been loved fiercely, and I have been caused great pain, and I have caused great pain to others (sometimes to the same people who I love intensely…welcome to my mutha-fucking world). I have laughed more and uncontrollably wept more this year than in all the previous years of my ridiculously too-long life put together. All the extremes. All the stratospheric highs and the indescribably horrific lows.

2019 began with me making the decision to become active on Twitter (as opposed to just having an account that sits there collecting virtual dust, as it had done for a decade), and use it as a tool for promoting my music. I didn’t realise what a life altering thing – and the far-reaching repercussions – this decision would make.

All in all, yes, my music is the better for it. But, my mental health isn’t. And, in me exposing more people to the disaster that is me, I have left damage and wreckage in my wake. Yeah, I’m the curse that keeps on cursing.

The fact is, all we borderlines do is fuck up other people’s lives. It’s not that we have a disorder: we are a disorder. If you have the great misfortune to find yourself in our path, beware the inescapable tornado of desire and destruction. To know and love someone with BPD is to, one way or another, end up wrecked. No, we aren’t all bunny boilers or stalkers or disgruntled postal workers with AK47s.  But, we are, all of us, obsessive and a complex of intensity and complication.

I would like to think that I will not see 2021. I would like to hope that my sorrowful and excruciatingly painful existence, along with the sorrow and pain that I cause (of course), will come to an end in this coming year. But, when has hope done anything but disappoint me?

I am so tired.

You may wonder what the title of this post is about. If you know, then you know. If you don’t know, I can’t explain it to you… so, don’t worry about it. Or, if you’re really curious, you can Google what the ancient Greeks used ‘tambourine’ as a metaphor for, and you can listen to this song.

All this being said, at least I’m not a narcissist – you know, at least I know I’m despicable and hurtful. And, I’m not even the worst borderline I know. And, I have people in my life that are nevertheless grateful that I am in their lives. But, that may be because I am so exceedingly good at playing the tambourine. 😉

 

Where’d You Go and Why?

Once you know you have BPD and understand certain triggers and symptoms, it makes you really question certain scenarios and how to react/respond.

Say someone (a potential friend, partner, lover, etc.) initiates contact with you and, at first, seems quite keen to have a relationship (whatever the kind) with you. There are plans to meet. Plans to hang out. Plans to participate together in whatever it is you’re both into. Plans to, generally, get this party started. And then… silence. Your last message gets ignored and unresponded to. What’s happened?

The natural reaction for someone with BPD is to panic. Like, ‘FUCKING HELL, you showed interest in me and got me to like you, now you’re gone.’ And, the tendency is, then, to bombard the person with messages, almost begging them to still be interested in you. You go from being the pursued to being the pursuer. You look sad and pathetic.

But, once you are diagnosed, you find out that you are predisposed to this reaction. So, you do your best to hold back from chasing and harassing. You try to convince yourself that they are most likely busy, and it’s not that they don’t like you anymore. But, there is real, physical pain in holding yourself back. For me, it’s a choking feeling that is added to the sinking feeling of, ‘WHY make me open my heart to you if you were going to abandon me?’ There is a pervasive, anxious feeling of wanting a plain answer for their disappearance. ‘Just tell me what’s up, don’t leave me hanging!’

And, the great majority of the time, it really is THEM and not YOU. Most likely, they had time on their hands, saw you available to chat (online) and dived in, not knowing you’d get more serious about things. You were something to do on the way to something else. And, that doesn’t bother ‘normal’ people so much. Then again, they could still be genuinely interested but something could have happened in their life that is stopping them from being in contact. Life throws shit at all sorts of people, not only those of us with BPD (it’s just that the shit we get thrown hurts us more). Still, if something is going on and they’re too busy now to meet or hang out anymore, it would be polite if they let you know. And, it would help things if, in fact, they are no longer interested in you at all to tell you that, as well. I’d rather just know. Just tell me instead of leaving me up in the air.

I find myself in this situation now. It sucks. Not knowing whether they’re busy or they’ve just ‘moved on’ without telling me.

I want to ask. I want to be able to move on. I want to learn from the situation (don’t let another person in so quickly; they’re keenness might not be as sincere as it seems).

All relationships are complicated for the BPD sufferer. We feel too much. We feel ‘too far’. And, it applies to every relationship or potential relationship.

I’ve written this blog post instead of writing to them. I wonder if they choose not to contact me again if I can resist the urge to contact them. I also worry that if they are only busy, they may read this and, instead of shooting me a quick message to ease my mind, they’ll just think I’m a weirdo.

I AM a weirdo. But, still… how irrational is it to feel this way, really? Those ‘normal’ lot are the truly strange ones. I envy them, though. This stuff doesn’t bother them. They’re immune. It just rolls off. While, here I am, wondering why I’m here again. 😢 #lifesucks #peoplesuck #bpdsucks

Thoughts Spilling Out of a Brain Left Ajar EPISODE 3

So, I went to see the psychiatrist today… watch how the day went. It was rather surprising. Also, you get to see my cat, Rincewind, acting cute in this vlog post; it’s worth watching just for that.

Life, Death & Coffee 

​Some people require a visual. Some are more auditory. Others still prefer the written word. This vlog/blog post has it all.

I actually have a friend who prefers my vlog posts, where I TALK, more than she does listening to what I – and many others feel – is the considerably better use of my voice. 

Personally, despite having a good vocabulary, I find it difficult to verbalise my thoughts and feelings. I am unable to put these things into SPEECH. So, I put them in songs (one uses a different part of the brain when one sings than when one talks… this is the reason why some people who have suffered severe strokes, rendered speechless, can sing just fine…it is also why a stutterer can sing perfectly and clearly) or in visual art which illustrates how I’m feeling.

I find talking overrated. When I’m forced to speak, I do so…but, it’s rarely willingly. And, inevitably, I never end up saying what I really want and need to get across. It’s very frustrating. I don’t stutter badly, but I have elements of the problem. Speech is just hard work.

Of course, the problem with art, in any form, is that once it’s ‘out there’ it’s open to all sorts of interpretation. You see, hear, read and feel it through YOUR filter.

Sigh. It is the human condition. 

But, I continue to try to communicate, for what it’s worth.

 Life is hard. One could say, life is hard as speaking, and life with ANY chronic illness is a prison. Here’s an animation illustrating the daily struggles and dreams thereof:

This next video is a music video… I’m not explaining it. Just watch and listen. 


And, ending on a fun note. One of my grandfather’s favourite jokes was about a guy who needed to pass his school exams, but he was woefully stupid. His teacher, trying to be kind to him, decided to help him out by marking him a passing grade if he could spell just one word correctly. The teacher thought about it and realised that the student was too dumb to even get one word right, so decided to let him pass if he could just get ONE LETTER of one word right. The teacher thought that, surely, even this idiot could at least get one letter in a word correct. So, the teacher said to his student, ‘Spell the word coffee.’ The student replied, ‘K.A.U.P.H.Y.

And, thus, I give you this:


May your coffee be good and may you always be heard.

Life As I Know It | an animation

This goes out to the precious extraordinary carers of those of us with bpd.  What makes these people so unique (and rare) is their ability to accept us as we are (when that is so hard to do) and not do the typical abandonment of us when we are difficult. This love and support makes all the difference to a sufferer. Specifically and personally, this is dedicated to my carer and husband, Jamie, with my unspeakable thanks.

Of Kings and Royal Moments

I need to take more time to post the positives when they happen. I get so worn down – am so worn down – by the negatives and the depression and other chronic illness that it can totally obscure those small – but beautiful – moments that happen. Pardon me, while I relate this story.

I still remember the first fan letter I ever wrote to a celebrity crush when I was a little girl.  It was Ricky Schroder of Silver Spoons (oh, gah, am I ever dating myself now). I was properly obsessed. I think I was hoping for a marriage proposal to come from my letter. I’m sure I would’ve been thrilled with just a response from his management team and a signed picture or something.  I received nothing.

I was disappointed, of course. I continued to crush on other celebs from time to time, but real all out fangirling was something I kept to myself and, as much as was in my control, avoid. Years and years later, and I eventually began to feel that maybe fangirling was a symptom of bpd and my obsessions were not something to encourage. However, sometimes one can’t help themselves.

Then came the emergence of Twitter. And, regular people were actually conversing with actors and artists of all media. I, of course, took my little stabs at being noticed, tweeted at, etc. It was Ricky Schroder all over again.

Now, the thing is, even with only my extremely limited success (read failure) at the music business, I realise that being in the public eye and desirable can be full of pressure. And, there’s the politics of it. You can’t be seen to be favouring one over the other when you’re trying to keep all your fans happy. Sometimes it’s easier just to ignore everyone who messages, mentions, tags, etc. you, rather than taking the chance of offending some by missing them out. And, I’m certain for many celebs who have millions of fans, there simply isn’t the time. One must work and sleep, after all…or the rest of us would have nothing over which to fangirl/boy over. And, believe it or not, they do deserve lives of their own.

There is a point to all this. Please, stay with me.

When the BBC first aired The Musketeers, I was enchanted. Here was swashbuckling adventure and beautiful (and talented) actors and actresses to gaze upon. ‘All for one and one for all’ come alive on the screen. Loyalty and love and gunpowder…and…

The best King Louis has EVER been portrayed, played by the exceptionally talented and simply gorgeous actor Ryan Gage.I tried my damndest to keep Mr Gage and his smile out of my heart and only on my screen. Have I mentioned, I’m good at failure.

But, look how strong I was. I managed to get to the third and final (sigh) season before looking to see if Ryan Gage was on Twitter. I managed to nearly make it to the middle of this last series before tweeting ‘@RyanGage is the best King Louis ever’. I didn’t expect anything at all…I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm anymore. 

But. I did get a response. One of the writers of the show liked my tweet. Really, just that made my night. It was nice to have the comment noticed and appreciated. Especially by someone who worked so hard to bring us this quality entertainment.

But then, there was the next day. I posted something else Ryan and Louis related…and…  Holy French curly wigs, Batman! … I got a notification on my phone that the man himself had liked it!

I posted a few more things. He liked them, too!

Shit. I mean, it was awesome and it made me smiley. Very smiley. Elated. Ricky Schroder, Neil Gaiman, the entire cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer WHO?! But, it also threw me immediately into full-on fangirl mode.

‘Oh, Autumn, you’re too old for this. You’ll get annoying. You always do. Stop it. For goodness sake, you’re flirting. Surely he gets tired of all this. You’re going to make a nuisance of yourself. He has better people than you to pay any attention to.’ And, then, the running negative track in my mind turned even darker and more tormenting. 

Now we come to the specific moment this post is about. Yesterday, feeling particularly rough with the depression I suffer, my 9 year old daughter, who has a talent for drawing, drew me this picture to try to cheer me up. 

Last night, I posted it on Instagram and tagged Ryan Gage in it. Not only did he like it, but he posted it, too! Now, my little girl suffers from low self esteem a lot of the time. She loves to draw and has an eye for art, but all too often she feels bad about herself and thinks she isn’t good at anything. I got to see the joy in her face when I showed her that Ryan himself had liked and reposted her drawing; I got to see her light up at the comments others made about how good her work was. 

So, while I can’t promise that I won’t get annoying – I hope I don’t; but, I know how I am – what I’ve found is that this gifted actor is as sweet to his fans as he is beautiful to look upon. The time he takes to look at fans’ posts and acknowledge them makes him very rare and special…and even more worth fangirling over. 

So, thank you, Ryan Gage, for being you. And…if I get annoying…just go all Louis on me and have me beheaded…kiss me first, though.