I considered deleting this blog as I haven’t written in a while. Then I realized that I might arrive at a point where it will serve as a crucial outlet. I have two other blogs to maintain, and this one came without a goal, other than to share what I have come to understand about the impact of being exposed to family dysfunction, especially personality disorders.
I had to do something with all that obsessive reading that helped me from going off the deep end during a terrible series of events in 2014. Better to share what I’ve learned than keep it to myself, especially since it was clear that other people were in dire need of some answers and insights. The wonderful feedback I got, even in my answers in mental health forums, spurred me on.
In some strange way, I thought that once I discovered certain truths, that everyone else must know them, too. But that wasn’t the case. And each time I came across someone’s story, I could truly feel their pain and had an urge to share what I learned so they could speed up their recovery and not wait till age 50 or older to really see what’s going on.
I might be repeating myself from a previous post here, but I saw two different people. The kind that just want to lay out every irrelevant detail of events with a disordered family member, the kind of person who wants to be stuck in this cataloging of behaviors. Then there’s the other kind of person who is in touch with the pain and reality of what’s happening and is struggling to make sense of it for their own good. It’s these latter people that moved me.
I feel like I’m an empathetic person. But I can also be a “just DO something” kind of person when I get impatient over another person’s refusal to address whatever their plight is, big or small. Being confronted with other people’s stories of exposure to borderlines and narcissists tapped a deep well of empathy that was sort of relief for me to realize was there. I have empathy even for the whiners who focus too much on the other party, but it’s the ones who are aware of their role and their pain that make me want to help.
I’ve often worried that what I grew up with (nay, have experienced all through adulthood!) has left me missing something. An ability to feel deep emotion. To just sit with someone else’s joy or pain, to experience it without immediately putting in my two cents, or telling my own story or trying to fix something—all things that I tend to do.
But when I talk with someone, and in the course of the conversation, I discover that they’ve been exposed to mental dysfunction, especially in a family member, I feel not just a connection, but a sense of wanting to just shut up. There’s almost a feeling of quiet awe at the idea that you can, without really even sharing one another’s stories, feel what the other person feels and have them do the same for you.
Maybe most people feel this often but I don’t. I’m not thrilled with the idea that the one place where I “get it” and someone else “gets it” is around the issue of fucked-up family members but I’ll take my connections where they’re offered.
Of course, everything I’ve said up to this point seems to have little to do with the title, except that part of me wants to keep this blog for the very reasons I describe above, while another part of me doesn’t want my life to be over-examined anymore. Whenever I feel the pull to write about something, I ask myself, “Is this where I want to put my energies?”
Truth be told, writing in this blog feels, not like addressing issues of personal transformation, but of avoiding connection with the outside world, spending time with friends, working on my art, being outside in nature.
Having this blog feels more like a connection to the past than a step into the future. Because let’s face it, it’s more interesting to talk and write about challenges. The main source of inspiration, if you can even call it that, was my narcissistic mother and my BPD sister and their impact on me. Both are out of the picture but never far away from the mind. There is much healing still do be done. All my ways of being in the world that I know aren’t ultimately good for me are constant reminders of the impacts of all that dysfunction. Tons of material for a lifetime of blogging!
But something pulls me away. I need to follow that tug. The tug of the outside world. The tug of art making as a healing activity. The tug of basic self acceptance, of not constantly worrying that you’ve said or done something wrong.
Sometimes wanting to write a blog post or visit a mental health forum is, curiously, a little like wanting a drink. Indeed, writing is a great way to free stuck thought from your head so you can move on. But it can also, for me, feel like scratching an itch or avoiding something else, something better for me. I wasn’t aware of all this till I found myself writing about it.
And so, with that, I’m going to indefinitely sign off and wish you well on your journey.