As Empty As Empty Can Be

My life is a long story-a long repetitive cycle of emptiness. 

Who am I?  I am a single mother of 3 beautiful children that I love so so much.  They are the only reason I am still here.  Other than that, I do not know who I am.  I am very smart, but I have a job at a factory with medial pay.  I don't have hobbies.  If someone asks me about things I like to do I really do not have an answer for them.  I really don't enjoy much and I really don't know what I like.  I like whatever whoever I am hanging out with likes.  I get along with everyone but don't have many friends.  The friends I do have are guys, and they are usually friends with benefits.  I do like food; in fact, there are few foods that I don't like.  I am a very empty person.  There is just not much there.

I have always felt that I think differently than everyone else, and this was verified when I discovered that I have borderline personality disorder.  I stumbled upon my own diagnosis when I read the DSM-IV criteria.  It was like looking in a mirror!  Here is how I relate to it:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment:  This is me to a T.  I tend to imagine rejection or abandonment and then sabotage my relationships.  Basically this has happened in every romantic relationship I have ever been in.  Also, being a military wife does not work for someone with BPD.  I tried it.  I only lasted six months while he was overseas, and that was a very long and hard six months.  I spent the first half of the time in bed crying and depressed and the second half out pretending he didn't exist, or perhaps I even believed that he didn't exist.  If someone makes plans with me, they better keep them or have a really good excuse (preferably with some kind of evidence in hand).  I always think if someone chooses to do something other than spend time with me that they do not want to be with me or that I am not good enough.  I definitely do not like to be alone and always have to have my "significant other at the time" with me.  I will go to extremes to make this happen.  I cannot even count how many times I have threatened to kill myself or said I was going to the psych ward.  Unfortunately, at those times, I really believed it was true.  I believed I would not be able to emotionally handle being without them.

  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation:  Do you believe in love at first sight?  Well, that is pretty much how all of my relationships have been.  It doesn't take too long before I am head over heals in love with someone.  Guys love this.  They love the attention I give them.  I would do anything for them!  Unfortunately, I haven't found many guys that can give that to someone, that is returning that same kind of love.  I find after not too long they aren't there enough for me and they can't give me enough attention, and this makes me feel rejected.  It makes me feel as if I am not good enough to be their "everything" as they are mine.  I have been told so many times that they can't give me what I want and that nobody can because everything is not enough for me.

  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self:  My physical self-image changes but is most often to the point that I feel I look hideous.  It is to the extreme that in the past 10+ years I can count on one hand how many times I have worn shorts in public, even when it is 100+ degrees out.  I feel that someone who weighs twice my weight looks better than I do in a swimming suit.  It is hard to even watch a movie with a boyfriend as I only imagine that they want to be with the "hot girls" in the movie rather than with me.  I have felt good about myself, but those periods do not last long and mostly come from feeding off the attention I get from guys.  I have went to college three times and almost finished each time but have always had an excuse to quit.  I am kind of like a chameleon and change with the kind of people I hang out with, which varies greatly.  I have experimented a few times by having sex with girls, which I guess makes me bisexual.  When I am not in a relationship I do not really feel like I am anyone...

  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating):  I just went out and bought a van that I cannot afford and didn't even get it checked out before buying it.  I took my kids out to drive around and look at vehicles to get an idea of what we wanted.  We test drove the van and within half an hour I signed the papers.  Sex is out of my control.  I am recently out of a relationship that actually did not end because of my BPD and the guy hurt me bad.  In the past two weeks I have slept with four different guys, one was my ex and two others were my coworkers-then the one coworker again with one of his friends.  All except the friend of my coworker were unprotected.  I don't drink or use drugs often, but when I do it is in excess.  I binge eat most days. 

  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior:  As above, I use suicidal threats often when facing abandonment or perceived abandonment.  I have not yet attempted suicide.  When things feel out of control and I am very emotional I bite myself.  I have never broken skin but bruise my skin often. 

  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days):  A few years ago I was at a psychiatrists and explaining my symptoms of "depression."  He thought perhaps I have bipolar disorder.  He told me to do some research and see if I believed it was what I was feeling.  I told him it was a lot like that except my mood cycles more rapidly lasting hours to days, not months to years.  That was the end of that conversation ever. 

  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness:  What can I say?  I always feel like part of me is missing, always empty. 

  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights):  Always when I feel a boyfriend is not giving me what I need I lash out verbally.  I become very mean and say horrible things that I immediately wish I could take back but am so angry that I can't stop.  I have slapped from time to time but it takes everything I have to stop at that.  I have snapped at others infrequently at times of stress. 

  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms:  I have many many occasions of extreme paranoia in which I can just walk in a room and think everyone was talking about me as well as often times of believing a boyfriend is cheating on me.  I have had dissociative symptoms, usually during breakups, in which I feel like I was outside my body watching the whole thing happen and then when remembering it the situation feels like a dream. 

I am in dialectical behavior therapy, but this has been a very rough time for me.  My therapist was out for two weeks, I was sick one week, made it to my therapy last week, have therapy tomorrow, and then therapist will be gone next week again.  I was doing so good in therapy until all of these long breaks came up, as well as the recent breakup I had, and now I feel I have lost control. 

I am so tired of being so EMPTY!!!

AsEmptyAsEmptyCanBe AsEmptyAsEmptyCanBe
3 Responses Jan 16, 2012

You are not alone. You just described me almost exact. I'm trying very hard to control myself, but I know there is no use. I will always be paranoid, always think my boyfriend cheats on me, anything he does will never be good enough because it's not how I would do it. I mean I love details and I give a lot of details when i'm explaining how I want something done. For example, the first time he made me a ham and cheese sandwich.. I said put mayo on both sides of the bread and mustard on one side then a slice of cheese on each bread with three pieces of meat and a cheese slice in between. CRAZY

I see much of myself in your story with some notable exceptions and changes. I shall be starting DBT next week but have a boyfriend who loves me and wants to understand this very much and help me along. Not so oddly enough, I met him while I was escorting...I had been forewarned by a psychologist who is not versed in DBT that this would NEVER happen...fortunately, he thought I was doing well enough to be admitted to the initial screening process to be accepted into the program. I was arrested for prostitution but the case was dismissed due to police incompetence...and a bit of brilliance on my part! It is freeing not to do this but painting with broad brushstrokes and demonizing us just doesn't get a BPDs attention. It is comforting to know that just because we're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get us...we are a highly intuitive and perceptive lot and truly want help in the end.

I have not seen anyone break down the signs/symptoms with their own personal experiences, so thank u very much this was very helpful! I can identify with you on most all of these. You should keep your blog updated as you receive treatment~ best of wishes!