I have a new header

Having been bored for most of the day, I decided to toy some with putting together a header, to pass time. I don’t know how well I did, it looks a bit cluttered and like narcissim central up there, but hey, my blog is about me, so I figured I might as well put drawings of me up. Also my brain is about as cluttered as the header, so I don’t know, I might leave it there for a while until I come up with something better.

Drop me a line to let me know what you think of it! 🙂


I’m having one of those terrible feeling awful days. I feel like I’m just not worth anything. And certainly not anything good. I know it’s probably not true and that the feeling will likely go away again, but it feels like it won’t and shouldn’t because it’s true.

There are just too many things that make me worthless. I’m worthless to society at large because I’m not a productive member in any way, shape or form. I don’t work. I can’t reliably do a household chore, much less hold down a job. I don’t even have an education or a qualification in anything. Society doesn’t have any advantage for having me in it.

I’m worthless as a family member. Everyone needs to take my mental health issues into consideration, but in return I’m often inconsiderate of them. I limit their lives. The simplest things turn into big challenges because of me. They invest all this time and energy and thoughtfulness in me and I give them trouble back. Trouble and drama and fuss. I’m not good at being a daughter or a sibling. I am demanding and needy and terrible to be around.

I’m worthless as a person. I’m not sure what exactly determines a person’s worth, but I’m certain being difficult, over-emotional, over-sensitive and not in possession of much self-control does nothing to enhance it. There’s nothing I’m really good at. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Or maybe two goldfish. I’m maybe the most high functioning when I blog, but even here I feel like at least 95% of what I write is meaningless. And that for the remaining 5% others would be able to write it better, so maybe I should just leave it to someone else?

Mom says I compare too much and that comparing is not a useful thing to do because people are different. Because everyone is unique and that makes it more important to focus on improving by our own standards than to compare ourselves to others. And I guess she’s right – but the world is just too full of invitations to compare. Just take blogging, for a small example. It’s just too tempting to compare the number of likes, the number and quality of comments, the number of followers . . . And now that’s only blogging. The whole huge rest of the world is just as full of things that just beg for comparison and I don’t manage to ignore them.

It’s not like I choose to feel so bad about myself. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m not worth anything. I just really don’t know how to feel any different most of the time. What I call improvements are just things that others take for granted and wouldn’t even bother mentioning. My improvement is that I have learned to tolerate feeling worthless without needing to self-harm immediately and without getting too dramatic over it. But really, what kind of an improvement is that? It’s still way worse than what most people my age are capable of. And yes, I know, I’m comparing again. Tough shit. I don’t know how not to.

So what do I make of that? I guess I just try to ignore the worthless feeling and hope it goes away. Or maybe I’ll try to do something nice for mom and hope it makes me feel a little less worthless. Like I’m at least capable of something good, even if it’s small and probably outweighed by everything that’s a mess. Whatever. Thanks for reading.


Want to read more on the subject?
– on Feeling inadequate
– on Feeling used or feeling useful?

A Day in My Life – what my regular days look like

I enjoy learning how other people spend their ordinary days, so I figured I’d describe how perfectly regular days of my own usually go.

6:45 a.m. – I get up. Mom usually wakes me, because I’d not mind sleeping longer. Unlike at night, I can sleep okay in the mornings. Mom still wakes me, because if I don’t get up early, I have a hard time going to sleep at night and after a while my sleep-wake cycle would shift and eventually turn around to only going to sleep in the early morning hours and sleeping until the afternoon. But that’s not healthy, so getting up at 6:45 it is. It’s usually a slow waking up over the course of ten minutes, because I’m grumpy in the morning and don’t like to get up and start the day.

7:00 a.m. – Every other day I shower and get dressed. Well, shock, I get dressed every day, actually. 😉 I get stressed if I don’t know where my mom is, also I feel vulnerable all naked in the shower, so my mom usually in the bathroom with me while I get ready.

7:20 a.m. – Mom and I sit down for breakfast. On the weekends dad has breakfast with us, but on weekdays he has already left for work by 7, so on most days it’s just my mom and me. Since eating can be such a struggle for me and neither of us has anywhere to be, breakfast can take a while. If all goes well it’s the two of us eating and making plans for the day. If it doesn’t go so well it’s me crying over a bowl of cereal or burying my face in my arms and ignoring the world. On those days breakfast is not so much about eating but more about troubleshooting while mom eats.

8:00 a.m. – we put the dishes in the dishwasher and go about whatever we have planned for the day. Often that means housework for mom. Just regular stuff like laundry or vacuuming. If it’s that, I either fetch my laptop or mp3-player to be nearby while I do my own stuff, or we talk about whatever or I help her. If I’m having a bad day, I tend to annoy her on purpose to share the misery.

10.00 a.m. – going shopping. I like going grocery shopping and shopping for household stuff, so we do it pretty much every day after deciding on what we’re having for lunch and supper. It’s weird that I enjoy going shopping for boring stuff so much, but it’s reassuring and feels safe. It’s most probably a result of having grown up in constant need of basic stuff like enough food and everyday items, due to most of the family money turning to booze and cigarettes. Seeing that money turns into food and other necessities now is reassuring. We usually take our time when we go shopping.

11.30 a.m. – we return home and mom fixes us something for lunch. Like from scratch. All of mom’s cooking is usually from scratch. Occasionally I crave something from a box like mac and cheese, but even that she’d rather make from scratch if I didn’t insist on the box. That was one of the hardest things to get used to, actually, mom’s insistence to spend so much time cooking and stuff tasting different than what comes from boxes. She reasons that if we put good quality, healthy food into our bodies, we’ll have good quality, healthy bodies too, and if we put unhealthy junk into our bodies, our bodies will turn into unhealthy junk bodies, and I suppose it makes sense, but for someone who grew up on convenience food it was quite a thing to get used to.

12:00 p.m. or whenever lunch is ready – we have lunch and plan the rest of the day. Right after lunch and cleaning away the dishes is usually quiet time where mom reads and I sit down to read others’ blogs and write for my own. Or I watch some TV. Depends.

1:45 p.m. – on days when I have therapy we go to therapy across town. I see my therapist, F, and mom is either with me during therapy or waits, depending on how I am that day. Afterwards we drive home again. On days where there isn’t therapy this is time for doing things outside the house, going places, even if it only means a walk in the woods behind the house.

3:45 p.m. – we return home and on most days we’ll have a snack.

4:00 p.m. – mom and I have playtime. Yes, we really call it that, but we could also call it quality time or whatever. It’s my favorite time of the day. We spend it doing things together. Anything really. Often we actually play, stuff like board games or cards or I may roam through my siblings’ old toys up on the attic and we’ll play with what I find, or we just play hide and seek in the house for a while, even tag or some rough and tumble game occasionally. Or we don’t really play, like when I’m not in the mood, but mom gives me a massage instead, or we cuddle and talk, or she reads to me, anything really. On days when I feel low I’m reluctant and don’t want to have playtime, but especially on those days playtime often turns the day around after a while. Dad usually returns home from work during our playtime and pops in to say hello before he goes to his study to finish work stuff that he didn’t do at the office.

5:30 p.m. – mom gets ready to cook supper. Dad either helps her or asks about how our day was and talks a little about his, if he can. He can’t usually say much, as he’s a lawyer and the whole client confidentially thing is in the way, but I’m not really interested in stuff about court and law and stuff anyway, so that’s just fine with me. I usually help a little with making supper, like by cutting up stuff or stirring.

7:00 p.m. – we sit down to have supper together, mom, dad and me. My least favorite meal of the day, as mom and dad usually talk about boring things, but yes, I know, their turn. It’s okay.

7:45 p.m. – we’re usually done with supper and cleaning everything away and start the evening. It’s “everyone does whatever” time and usually takes place in the living room. Mom and dad often talk. Sometimes we watch TV. Or everyone plays something together, like a board game. Or dad still has work to do and goes back to the study and it’s only mom and me, doing whatever, either by ourselves or together.

10:00 p.m. – I change into my pajamas and get ready for bed. Not because I already go to bed, but because once I’m ready we’ll do quiet time. I have trouble calming down at night, trouble with feeling relaxed enough to allow sleep to come, and it helps to end the day with something calm and reassuring. Cuddling, talking about the day, sometimes reading or listening to music. Eventually moving from the living room to the bed.

11:00 p.m. – the time after which I try to fall asleep.


That’s what my ordinary days look like. At least if they are days without drama. When there is drama of whatever sort, our usual activities get cancelled or interrupted for dealing with it. But without drama, that’s what goes on. It’s probably not very exciting for most people and many would probably be bored by following the same routine every day, but to me it’s really important to have that. I get really upset inside if the routine gets interrupted by something, or if changes need to be made. I like predictability and I like to know what my day will be like and that it has structure. For me that’s part of feeling safe. I’d even say it’s therapeutic.

Talking Abuse

As you might have guessed by yesterday’s poem (if you read it), since Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking about the abuse by my stepfather and my mother’s tolerance of it more often. Maybe it’s my birthday and the Christmas holidays drawing nearer, they always put me in a glum mood and put thoughts of my birth family into my mind.

Whenever there is a major holiday, memories of days long gone intrude, and also I can’t help wondering about my mother, what she might be doing. Like how did she spend Thanksgiving? Did she see anyone? Does she live with anyone these days? Or did she just get wasted by herself, the way she used to whenever it was only her and me and home. My stepfather died in jail . . . is she mourning him on holidays? And does she ever think of me?  Does she ever wonder about what I might be doing, the way I wonder about her? And when it’s my birthday, does she think of me? Or does she not even remember?

I don’t know why those thoughts would matter – after all I haven’t seen her or heard from her in what will be eleven years in January, and I have my family now – but I can’t help thinking them nonetheless. And from those thoughts it’s only a small step to memories of abuse. I have a hard time thinking about the abuse with my feelings switched on, but it kind of works in the form of poetry, so that’s what I did.

I talk about it with my mom, too. That’s semi-emotional. She doesn’t usually allow that I split my emotions all the way off, but knows I can’t take too much and that I am afraid of getting overwhelmed by the memories if I stay too connected while we talk. So it’s always a struggle to find that fine line of the degree of emotional involvement that I can still take. Sadness is a surprisingly okay emotion. So is feeling disgusted by myself and the consequential self-hate, although we work on putting that into perspective.

I’m not used to making a difference between a person and his or her actions, but I need to learn to do that, so that’s what we’re working on when we talk abuse, too. That I learn to feel disgusted by the things I had to do, instead of feeling like a disgusting person. I still need help to be able to do that, because my borderline ways don’t really like considering such things, but with help it’s okay. Like how my mom helping with keeping my feelings of self-hate from developing their own momentum by bringing back to my attention the difference between who I am and what I did. That makes talking abuse easier.

So does feeling safe. I do not usually feel physically safe when I talk abuse. It feels as if talking about it had the power to bring it back for real, back into my life now. It’s irrational, but I can’t just shake the feeling of impending threat off, like people who are going to abuse me are going to step out of the shadows once I talk about the abuse. So in order to be able to talk about the abuse at all, I need to be able to watch the doors and the room itself to see with my own eyes that there’s nobody there, and I need to feel physically safe. Being close to my mom usually makes me feel safe and like she would protect me, just in case the threat was real. I mean I know it’s not, but well . . . just in case.

So it looks as though altogether I am going in a good direction. Which is nice. Especially at a stressful time like the holiday season.

Rip Me, Rape Me ~ a poem

Please take care, it’s a poem about childhood sexual abuse and can probably be triggering.

And if you can’t decipher my scrawl, here is my poem typed out:

Rip Me, Rape Me
by Lola

Rip me, rape me, suffocate my youth
Steal away my innocence
Humiliate my truth

Mutilate my body, rip it into shreds
Kiss me with your blameful lips,
Manipulate my head

Tie me into knots that you know I can’t undo
Threaten, make fake promises, enslave my heart to you

Dress me up in shame and guilt – turn love into a sin
Force your body into mine – I’m your garbage bin

So as I lay you have your say
We both know who you’re killing
You tell me this is what I want
And of the void you’re filling

And when I dare to speak my mind,
Mom, your voice is chilling
You look me in the eye and say:
“It’s not rape when you are willing!”

Forever on the outside, looking in

Being on the outside, looking in. Feeling this way is maybe the most basic and most continuous feeling that I have. Feeling disconnected. Like I am standing outside a house, looking through the window, seeing the people inside, seeing them interact and be meaningful for one another, yet never feeling part of it. Never feeling like I could possibly be a part of it. Feeling like I’m forever only on the outside looking in.

Sometimes people turn my way, see me and interact with me, maybe smile or talk with me, but it’s always through the glass, and after a while they will turn to other people again. Real people who are inside with them. Not me outside the house.

Coming to live with my family hasn’t changed that. Having gotten better hasn’t changed it either. My most basic feeling is one of disconnectedness. The only person I feel connected to is my mom, but not in the way that I feel like I can be inside the house with her. Whatever I do or whatever she does, I never make it inside the house. Instead it feels like she’s forever coming outside to be with me, even when it’s cold out here and it would be way nicer inside. But since I can’t go inside, she comes out, no matter the weather out here. Sunshine, rain, snow, heat, wind… she’s coming. She even comes to sit in the doghouse with me, if that’s where I have retreated to.

It makes me feel loved and connected to her. She’s my safe person and I love her more than I can say. But it makes no difference to feeling like I am forever outside the house, looking in.

My oldest sister, she’s similar to me in that way, also someone who hangs out on the outside of social relations a lot. I just noticed it again on Thanksgiving. And since she’s also outside anyway, we kept each other company a little. But that, too, didn’t get me inside anywhere.

I don’t know what’s with that, that I seem to be unable of ever being inside. Inside where other people are, where it’s warm and comfortable, where people are caring and connect to each other and are meaningful to one another. Sometimes I reach out to people, feeling like maybe I could make it through the door, try to be kind, try to show them I care, but then something happens . . . for example they ignore my attempt, which feels like they turn their back and close the door, or many other people are already there, who are already caring, and I feel dispensable and like what I can offer is too insignificant compared to what other people can, or like I would only bother them, forcing them to have to react to me somehow, and then I retreat by myself. Discouraged, I just step away from the door. Go back in front of a window from where I can at least watch and imagine how it would be to be inside. Or, if that’s too painful, retreat into the doghouse, telling myself I don’t need anyone anyway.

What the heck is wrong with me, that I can’t get into any house, ever? I really don’t know. From out here it looks like most people – normal or disordered, it doesn’t matter – can get inside houses. Maybe not all the time, or maybe they don’t want or can’t stay inside all the time, but at least they *can* go inside. Even my sister. Only me, whatever I do, I always only get to the window, on the outside, looking in.

“Hard is Not Impossible” – tackling BPD thinking

So Thanksgiving is finally over and everyone is back where they belong! My sisters back at university, my brother back at his apartment that he shares with these other guys from college, my grandparents back in Grandparenttown and mom’s sister and her husband on vacation somewhere warm. Blessed peace at the house! Mom, dad, me – perfect!

I survived! And for the first time ever I survived a family holiday without a major slip-up. I didn’t self-harm other than digging my nails into my arms once, I didn’t ruin the family dinner, I didn’t make a (big) scene, heck, I didn’t even kill grandma, though I really wanted to! 😉 But maybe the greatest accomplishment of all: I didn’t steal any of her sleeping pills! They’re benzos, just my kind of stuff, and though mom had begged her to not bring any to our house, of course grandma wouldn’t be told what to do and brought them anyway. And see, it’s kind of dangerous to have them around, cause while I’m off the shit, resisting the temptation when they’re available and I’m stressed out over the stupid holiday anyway . . . that’s a whole different matter.

Okay, now that sounds like I did awesome, which is not true either. I did miserably at times. I cried a lot more often than I want to admit, I complained to mom about how much I hate everything and everyone until her ears bled and I threw a little tantrum with suppressed yelling and threats about the awful things I was going to do, to make her throw out everyone right on Thanksgiving morning. I was convinced I couldn’t do it. That it was impossible and that I was going to end up awful if I had to do it.

Suffice it to say that mom was not too impressed. Instead she said something that she has probably said a lot of times before, but this time I registered it. She said: “Honey, I am aware that having everyone here is hard. I am aware that trying for the best you can do is hard. I am aware it is very hard, even. But hard, baby, is not impossible.”

Now that was a thought.

It was only a little tantrum that I was throwing, so I was not yet beyond listening. That mom took my feelings seriously helped, and my being angry faded to being unhappy with feeling so overwhelmed by the holiday. So I cried and whined a little, but while my mom comforted and cuddled me, I thought about what she had said, that hard is not impossible.

And I had to admit that she was kind of right. Hard really doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Just that it’s . . . well . . . hard. That had never really occurred to me before. I guess that’s an example of borderline black-and-white thinking. Either I can do it (white) or it’s too hard to do it (black). But that it could be real hard (black) yet at the same time doable (white) . . . that was a new one. So while Thanksgiving still sucked, my attitude changed a bit.

I didn’t feel so angry anymore at the fact that it was so hard and mom expected me to do my best anyway. That maybe I could take some hard and still try my best. Like, my real best despite the fact that it was hard, not the ‘waaah, it’s so hard, that’s not fair’ best that usually ends with me doing something to force a stop to the hardness.

I guess that change in my attitude, glimpsing the grey of ‘hard is not impossible’ instead of the black ‘hard is unfair’, made a difference. I didn’t take a shortcut, but actually endured the hardness. Go figure. And I’m even a little proud of myself for that.

What I am Thankful for – Poster

Okay, so I’m hiding away behind a laptop to kill time, hoping the holiday will be over and done with soon. Mom suggested I find things I am thankful for instead of griping about how much I hate Thanksgiving, so here goes. A digital scrapbook page of thankfulness.

So it’s Thanksgiving :(

I don’t like it. It has kind of started today already, with family arriving one by one. Grandparents. Siblings. Aunt and uncle. The person who’s technically my grandmother (my mom’s mother) keeps calling me “that girl”, I’m not in the mood for eating all the time, the house is a confusion of people and voices since everyone arrived, and nothing is the way it’s supposed to be. I don’t like turkey, I don’t like turkey day tomorrow and I don’t like that mom is so busy. I feel doing something drastic to make her stop everything she is doing and take care of me instead. And I feel so mean for wanting to do that, only because I hate Thanksgiving, when everyone is so happy to be here. Most of all grandma. All she wants to do is talk to mom, and it’s bothering her that I don’t leave mom’s side much. “Doesn’t that girl ever go anywhere by herself?!” she keeps asking mom, like I’m not even standing there. Mom’s good, she just keeps on saying “That girl’s name is Lola, mother, and she’s right where she’s supposed to be”, but I wish I could just fast forward to when everyone left again. Till after Christmas, if I can choose, skipping all the nasties – Thanksgiving, birthday, Christmas – and just start the new year. I want to curl up and hibernate until it’s over.

But no, instead I need to suffer through Turkey Day tomorrow and it’s only the start of the most dreaded month of the year. I wish I could just switch my thoughts off. I think I won’t fight dissociation’s gentle tug when it comes. Should get me some time with mom. I’ll also look like a three-year-old to everyone else, but shit, I don’t care. Or try not to, anyway.


Needing Feedback to Feel Like I Still Exist

I am like a cup with a hole in the bottom. Getting feedback about myself from others fills me while it lasts, but as soon as it stops, I become empty. I stop feeling like I am there, which is an unsettling feeling. It feels like losing everything. Like dying. On some days it gets so bad that I can’t let mom go to the bathroom without bugging her from outside the door, so she keeps talking to me. If she talks to me, it means there is someone there she can talk to. I exist. I am there.

Sometimes I wake up at night for no particular reason, and feel so unreal, like I might be dead and not even there anymore, a ghost maybe. It’s so unsettling that I always wake mom just to see if she can still see me and hear me and touch me. Having her confirm that I am still there makes the feeling go away and I feel normal again.

I think this might be a PTSD thing more than a borderline thing. Or maybe both contributes. It’s like without feedback I start to become convinced that I am not there anymore. It’s been that way ever since I remember. I used to feel like I was not really there a lot.

I have memories of my mother ignoring me. I would walk up to her and say something, and she would neither react, nor show that she had heard or seen me at all. I have one clear memory in which I say to her “I’m going outside”, expecting an acknowledgement. In my memory she is standing in the kitchen, wiping down the table, and I am standing in the door, because she doesn’t like it when I enter the kitchen. She just kept scrubbing the table. I say again “I’m going outside, Etta”, and she turns away to rinse the cloth. In my memory I finally enter the kitchen and touch her, to which she now reacts. She gives me a hard shove and a death stare that says “fuck off while you still can”. I repeat “I’m going outside”, but as I step away she is already wiping down the table again.

I don’t know whether getting ignored like that is traumatizing in itself, but I suppose it is some kind of abandonment. Like, not physically, but emotionally. Like an ongoing kind of abandonment, right in the presence of people.

Today I still feel the same, like I am still that kid who feels invisible. Still looking for that “me” in abandonment. Wondering if there is any “me” left at all. If there ever was a “me” in the first place. I feel like I stop being there if I don’t get feedback. I’m afraid that makes me exhausting to be around.

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