Monday, December 8, 2008

Reflection...Still Means Looking Into a Mirror

Everyone worries and focuses on disorders, whether they're physical or mental. But what about those that aren't readily identified? Personality disorders, for one. They are elusive and can be hidden easily with defense mechanisms. I have been in denial to the fact that there is actually anything wrong with my behavior. I've been paranoid: every time I walk into a room, I can swear everyone is looking at me; when someone laughs, I immediate check myself for anything that can be perceived as humorous. This is also called projection., not an incredibly viable source, but I digress, tells: "The underlying belief systems informing these patterns are referred to as Fixed fantasy or dysfunctional. The inflexibility and pervasiveness of these behavioral patterns often cause serious personal and social difficulties, as well as a general functional impairment." Hence, my dilemma. I am a self diagnosed crazy person. People are so against and offended by the word crazy because of the connotation it holds. However, I have been lying to myself for this long, so why not be honest? Finally. According to the personality disorders defined in the ICD-10 Chapter V, I am a mess. A literal melting pot of insanity. I haven't gotten 8 hours of sleep in the past three week so that gives me acute to moderate sleep disorder (because of the interruption of my Circadian rhythm). Then of course, there's my favorite: borderline personality disorder. "Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders characterized by depth and variability of moods. It typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; "black and white" thinking, chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation. These disturbances can have a pervasive negative impact on many or all of the psychosocial facets of life. This includes difficulties maintaining relationships in work, home, and social settings. Attempted suicide and completed suicide are possible outcomes, especially without proper care and effective therapy. Onset of symptoms typically occurs during adolescence or young adulthood." This is subsidsized into the form that most accurately describes me, histronic personality disorder. "Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriate seductiveness, usually beginning in early adulthood. The essential feature of histrionic personality disorder is an excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious."

As one can imagine, this has made it incredibly difficult for me to engage into a serious, long-term relationship. My ex-boyfriend of four years is a saint, clearly. He has dealt with me through violence, cheating and my own selfish impulses. It wasn't until one night I was with him and we had a particularly emotional night that I realized that I hated myself. I hated who I was, what I'd done, and more than anything, the fact that I didn't know what the HELL to do about it. I was sick and tired of the emotional and mental strain that this was taking out on me. I no longer wanted to hurt myself. Having sex and emotionally giving myself to different people all for the sake of attention...I realized that this was the worst form of self-mutilation. Cutting wasn't my style...I'd tried it and it didn't really blend with my bracelets, and it scared people away. No, my "style" was doing all I could for attention, doing everything in my power to make sure that I was noticed. Sometimes I would sit and think about how everyone crowds around a dancer at a party; I had to be that dancer. I had to be the party starter and the center of attention.

Now that my self -diagnosis is complete, it's up to me to find out why these things came to be. Was it something extremely dramatic in my past that comes to haunt me out of my subconscious shadows? What is this elusive truama that strikes me? What makes me who I am? Is it because my father wasn't there? Could be. My mother gave me all the love and attention she could. I never went hungry and whatever I wanted and needed, I had. I love my mother with all my heart and would never want to see her cry or hurt. However, there is something about a man being in a female child's life...there is something about him telling her that she is his princess...and I never received that. I never knew what it was like to have a man tell me I was beautiful, until he had his own selfish, hidden agenda in doing so. I used to think high school men were dirty, filthy, undiscerning creatures...that is, until I found out women are the same. Most of my female friends in high school were just like me: overly flirtatious, boisterous, energetic. That is, all the ones who didn't have fathers. As an example: one of my best friends in high school had a father who was active in her life, supported her in whatever she did and reprimanded her when the situation called for it. However, there was another one of my high school friends who had a different boyfriend every 4 months who left her after they slept with her and she was an emotionally clingy, easily influenced person. I loved both of my friends very much, but in any case, there was a strong, deep-seated covetousness toward my friend whose father was in her life. The disorder was so evident that not only did I want her father to be my dad, I had a romantic crush on him.

I won't say my high school days are long gone. I won't say that I will always have a personality disorder. What I am saying is that I won't let it beat me. I refuse to take medication, even though I'm a proverbial loony tune. I love the people that love me too much to let my own devices devour me. I have been so convinced that I was independent and self-supporting when in actuality, that was the exact opposite of what I was. It's like a person telling everyone else that they're cool. If you have to tell everyone, it has the exact opposite effect. I'm doing this so I don't kill myself. I'm doing this before I get addicted to something that's a lot worse that ice cream and shopping. I'm doing this so I learn how to love myself...that's the only way I can truly love someone else.

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