Buddhist and Borderline.

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  • disastermouse

    Buddhist and Borderline.

    Are there parts of yourself that you absolutely hate?

    I throw tantrums. I am preemptively negative, or even preemptively attacking. I distrust myself and therefore am prone to isolation.

    I sit, and I experience this sort of tranquility...but I cannot translate it into my life.

    I whine. I bitch and moan. I throw tantrums at work and shock people.

    I don't like it. I don't know how to fix it.
  • ScottyDoo
    Member
    • Aug 2008
    • 55

    #2
    Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

    Though she doesn't practice Buddhism, my wife experiences many of the same situations.

    She is a diagnosed Bipolar II, and although not as severe as Bipolar I, she has her moments.

    They affect her work, her life, her relationships, and although medication helps, the demons still break free.

    I have many issues I have yet to accept about myself, and you could say that I hate them as well.

    I'm lazy, I don't follow through on tasks or promises, I am distracted easily. To name a few.
    ScottyDoo - The Lazy Buddhist

    Comment

    • Stephanie

      #3
      Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

      Honestly, I thought hard about this, but I don't think there are any "parts" of me that I hate. There's parts that are annoying, and that make me feel ashamed, and parts that are really ugly, but I don't hate any of them.

      http://www.rhapsody.com/goto?rcid=tra.3165669

      Mostly I'm scattered with castaway matter
      The usual stuff that you see
      Hours and hours of televised time
      And occasional pieces of me

      Once I was something but I can't remember
      Whatever that something should be
      Hours and hours of televised wind
      And occasional pieces of me

      There's palm trees and milky machine guns
      And sunsets that melt like a gem in the sea
      Hours and hours of televised wind
      And occasional pieces of me

      Once I was something but I can't remember
      Whatever that something should be
      Hours and hours of televised time
      And occasional pieces of me

      Comment

      • disastermouse

        #4
        Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

        I have an internet friend who's also Borderline. She and I had a long chat this afternoon and it was helpful just to know that someone else knows what it's like to feel like this.

        The big thing is, it affects every part of my life. My relationships, my work life, my family life, etc. I have crazy outburst over ridiculous things and it seems totally rational at the time. Zazen hasn't really helped this (nor hurt it, truthfully).

        I wish I knew of some way to increase my distress tolerance. I guess I'm bringing it up here because it's probably this quality of labile moods and crazy outbursts that have kept me from joining a Sangha - and even now, I'm half afraid I'm going to say or do something that will get me kicked out of the community. Willpower has not been enough, because it seems like reality itself has changed and my actions seem totally justified to me at the time.

        My friend and I sort of agreed that borderlines have no business in relationships (although we end up in them anyway) and she isolates as well. I want to become part of a sangha, but I'm really terrified of being rejected by a sangha. Well, I guess I'm sort of afraid of rejection in general, and it's not an irrational fear because I know my behavior engenders such rejection.

        I don't know how to continue as a person with these problems. Everything in my life is constantly in jeopardy because of this.

        Chet

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39026

          #5
          Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

          Hi Chet,

          Now that you have explained it so well, we can all be very tolerant if we see little signs pop up now and then. So, don't give much worry to being "kicked out" of this Sangha.

          You have an interesting view of how our mind forms and reforms our many views of reality. Make that your own "Borderline Koan".

          Gassho, Jundo
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Stephanie

            #6
            Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

            Chet,

            If you've noticed, we like you here. And I can tell you from personal experience that Treeleaf has been tolerant, compassionate, and forgiving of my crazy, and no doubt it will be of yours too :wink:

            I admire the guts with which you've shared about your diagnosis and experiences here. One doesn't often see people rush to claim the borderline label in mixed company, as stigmatized and misunderstood as it is.

            As for your being in relationships and being here, I think you've already hit on the key thing, which is honesty. If you explain to people some of the obstacles you face in the struggle to build lasting relationships, that is the primary thing. Then when you hit a rough patch there is a mutual awareness of what is going on and thus a better chance of weathering it with some measure of patience and understanding.

            I think as long as you are upfront with people what your deal is, and are sincere about the effort you are or are not making to deal with it yourself, you have met your moral obligation when it comes to anticipating and addressing some of the difficulty you encounter with others. When people realize you're not just being a brat and not just being difficult because you don't care, but are really struggling with some sort of dark twist in your psyche, I think it changes the context. People want to work with you more, instead of fight you.

            I think you are a valuable addition to the community, not just because now I'm not the only person in the crazy section :wink: , but seriously, sometimes this place descends too easily into a kittens and rainbows "Ain't everything wonderful" vibe, and some folks may forget it's not so la-dee-da for some of us...

            regards,

            Stephanie

            Comment

            • disastermouse

              #7
              Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

              Thanks Steph!

              I have to quibble with one little thing though. I was totally upfront with Hannah about my ADHD and BPD. She still felt betrayed and could not really fathom what she was in for.

              I know I'm getting better, but I don't know if that's good enough to make a relationship work.

              Chet

              *edited to add:*

              Thanks for the reassurance, Jundo!

              Comment

              • Stephanie

                #8
                Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                Well, it might not have been enough to save the relationship or make it easy, but I think by being clear and upfront, you lived up to the demands of personal responsibility. That's really all you can do!

                I think regardless of your personal issues, there has to be a point where you stop apologizing for who you are. I can't promise anyone entering a relationship with me of any description that they won't get burned. I can do my best to be considerate, compassionate, and honest, but I can't take responsibility for someone else beyond that. Sometimes two people just create a nasty situation together, and sometimes there's no one to blame. And so many people have so many distorted ideas about what relationships can provide, that it's impossible for anyone to live up to that.

                If you're upfront about anticipating the issues your behavior patterns might present to a relationship, and communicate this to the other person, you're already doing better than about 85% of men, whose main motivation for what to say to someone they find attractive seems to be, "What things can I say that will be the most likely to get me in this girl's (or man's, depending) bed? And keep me there, if it's good?" :lol:

                Comment

                • ScottyDoo
                  Member
                  • Aug 2008
                  • 55

                  #9
                  Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                  It takes a lot of patience, understanding and communication in my marriage...and sometimes that doesn't work.

                  My wife has Bipolar II, and I have ADD. It's a real struggle at times. We didn't know about her Bipolar when we first started dating, though looking back, plenty of signs were there. We finally have a decent combo of meds for her and that has helped alot, though I have not been medicated, and am looking into it. I always just assumed that I was simply an easily distracted person, but it goes beyond just that and my doctor agrees and I have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Monday to talk about it and to see about meds for me.

                  Zazen has been a real struggle for me as I have this constant need (so my mind tells me) to be moving or fidgeting, bouncing a leg, playing with something in my hands, etc, etc. With that, it's REALLY hard to sit still for long and even short periods of time. I figure however that it just means I need to work smarter to do my best to work with it and maybe even one day master it.

                  EDIT: If someone does not care enough to understand and support, then it will never work. This is what I've found in my marriage.
                  ScottyDoo - The Lazy Buddhist

                  Comment

                  • Kent
                    Member
                    • Feb 2008
                    • 193

                    #10
                    Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                    Chet, i was touched by your honesty and courage in sharing what i consider very personal information. As Stephanie so kindly pointed out," we do like you here". Gassho Kent

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39026

                      #11
                      Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                      Originally posted by Stephanie


                      ... sometimes this place descends too easily into a kittens and rainbows "Ain't everything wonderful" vibe, and some folks may forget it's not so la-dee-da for some of us...
                      Well, sometimes we kill the cat too. And as for rainbows ...

                      Disappearing
                      snow on mountain peak
                      unfurls a rainbow


                      Haiku by Soen Nakagawa Roshi (a wonderful Zen teacher, and teacher of teachers, who also suffered from some form of very serious personality disorder, and was a recluse, after a head injury late in life. Read more here):
                      http://books.google.com/books?id=-kut6g ... &ct=result

                      ... and more detailed biography is here ... a good book on a great Rinzai teacher ...

                      http://www.amazon.com/Endless-Vow-Path- ... 1570621624
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Stephanie

                        #12
                        Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                        Wow, what an interesting man. Thanks for the recommendation, Jundo.

                        Comment

                        • disastermouse

                          #13
                          Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                          I really don't think I can make someone understand what it's like. It's a bit like PTSD - you overreact to minor slights with massive retaliations...there's an unrelenting sense of emptiness, and a feeling of being monstrous beyond what any rational review of one's actions would indicate.

                          I don't know anyone who'd want to sign on for that, is the thing. The negatives so greatly overwhelm the positives. Maybe metta practice will help.

                          Chet

                          Comment

                          • will
                            Member
                            • Jun 2007
                            • 2331

                            #14
                            Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                            Hi Chet. I have had pretty much the same thing that you described. I can't offer anything really practical. I can only say hang in there, with time and practice it gets better. One thing that definitely helps is to try and just be nice and good sometimes, and don't get down on yourself. I know. It seems there's nothing you can do about it.

                            Perhaps if you just sort of stopped doing what you usually do. Change routine for a while it might help. For example, I used to listen to music and you know, all these emotions or thoughts about myself and whatever would come up, so just put that down for a while. Learn not to take your feeling and thoughts so seriously. Just keep coming back to what is really happening. Listen, look, feel. Keep practicing that and little by little the thoughts and emotions won't play such a big part anymore. Notice your habits, but most important remember that you are fine just the way you are. Your Chet. That's special. Aight G.

                            I found I was constantly judging myself, and reacting towards others because I was so into my own little world. I thought that I was so different and something was just wrong with me. Well, that's not the case. Keep practicing.

                            And Yes Metta would probably be good if you don't have torpor during your sittings.

                            Hands Palm to Palm

                            Will
                            [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                            To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                            To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                            To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                            To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                            [/size:z6oilzbt]

                            Comment

                            • Stephanie

                              #15
                              Re: Buddhist and Borderline.

                              Originally posted by disastermouse
                              I really don't think I can make someone understand what it's like. It's a bit like PTSD - you overreact to minor slights with massive retaliations...there's an unrelenting sense of emptiness, and a feeling of being monstrous beyond what any rational review of one's actions would indicate.

                              I don't know anyone who'd want to sign on for that, is the thing. The negatives so greatly overwhelm the positives. Maybe metta practice will help.

                              Chet
                              A person who used to be one of my best friends self-diagnosed as borderline, and I wouldn't argue with her self-diagnosis. After a long and difficult struggle, I fell out with her and haven't spoken to her in over a year. I have no idea what's going on with her, and wonder. I loved her like crazy. But by about the tenth time she stuck a knife in my back, I'd had it.

                              I think the one thing that could have salvaged our friendship is if she had stopped playing games with me and had been willing to be honest. But she got some sort of thrill out of cutting me down. She also had a lot of the dynamics you describe, but it was that manipulative sadistic streak that destroyed our relationship, because it got to the point where I was starting to go downhill psychologically from spending time with her. I believe there were a lot of things she didn't have much control over, in terms of her inner emotional experience and how she sometimes reacted to that, but I don't believe for a minute she couldn't have chosen to stop playing games with me.

                              All the drama, all the suicidal freakouts, the drugs--as taxing as all that could be, none of it drove me away. It was the lies, the hurtful things she did just because she could (which I think was largely driven by the influence of the drugs over time, honestly; she'd always been somewhat that way but it got worse as her addictions deepened). The game playing. I understand the temptation to play mind games and I don't blame her--she was really disempowered in almost every other way. But I couldn't be the sacrificial lamb forever...

                              I'm not getting the impression that you're into the game playing and sticking the knife in to someone just because you can. You seem really honest and like you have a powerful sense of responsibility for your actions. Please don't fixate solely on what you see as your negative qualities... I'm telling you, all your good qualities are what are going to make the difference with a lot of people. If my friend had the same qualities you have, even with everything else, I would still be talking to her today.

                              I miss her a lot, and still love her. A lot of what I miss about what I shared with her I attribute to some of the positive qualities I associate with bpd... the passion, the intensity, the brilliance, the deeply intuitive perception. And even though she could be remarkably dishonest, there was a sort of honesty to her condition. She called it as she saw it (the other side of her ability to cut with words was an ability to cut to the heart of a situation). There was an intimacy that came out of her fluid sense of personal boundaries. A lot of things I will never experience with my "non-bpd" friends.

                              I think there's a good and a bad aspect of just about any condition, and I actually think there is a lot to love when it comes with the qualities associated with bpd, though no one could say it makes for easy relationships. But some people don't want easy relationships... you know, you could spend your whole life fighting to become something other than what you are, or embrace it, and find a way to enhance the positive impact and reduce the negative impact.

                              I'm sort of at this place with myself right now, actually, where I'm realizing that I can let a lot of the discoveries I've made about myself in the past year leave me so disillusioned and disheartened that I just give up on a lot of my hopes and dreams, or I can work with what I've got and be creative about how to use that to benefit others. I realize that if I can ever get my shit halfway together, this tendency I have to fall into periods of real darkness is something I could use to connect to others in dark places. That's really powerful...

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