Okay, I Think I Lied….
I said in yesterday’s post that I wasn’t afraid of saying I had a mental illness. Today, that’s a lie. See, for 40 years, I just thought I had a quirky personality–one that could pitch me into the depths of depression, make me grossly insecure in relationships, and irrationally angry at the drop of a hat. But most of the time, I functioned pretty well.
The path (path…ha…the tortured, twisted journey) that brought me to this point was scorching and is still incredibly painful. My husband was arrested for harassment. He is (now) a recovering porn addict. I knew he struggled and lost the battle against looking at porn for years. I had no idea how often he had lost the battle until he was arrested.
We began seeing a counselor within a week of his arrest. After three weeks, the counselor recommended my husband see a different therapist because of his addiction. Through the summer and fall of 2012, my husband saw one therapist and I saw a psychological counselor. Yes, there is a difference, at least to me. As wonderful as my counselor was, I realized he was never going to meet me toe-to-toe, so I switched to the therapist my husband was seeing.
My husband had already done a lot of work on his problems. His porn addiction was fueled by being co-dependent. Learning about co-dependency helped him immensely. He and the therapist had talked a lot about me as well. One day, the therapist read my husband the criteria for borderline personality disorder. Hubby said it described me to a T except for one of the behaviours listed. He also told the therapist that there was NO WAY I would ever accept being called a borderline.
I met with my husband and the therapist to work on some marital issues. I realized very quickly that I needed to be seeing my husband’s therapist for myself. Three weeks later, I accepted that I was a borderline, but I told the therapist I hated him for it. (I was joking…sorta).
Now, this will tell you how dense I am. I didn’t realize BPD was a mental illness. I started reading about it online; read some really depressing stuff and then watched a video by a psychiatrist that said it is one of the most untreatable disorders. Wow. Talk about feeling like s**t.
So now I’m freaked out about what this means for me in terms of “getting better.” But I have such a great therapist. He’s also a borderline so he understands me really well. Talking to him usually leaves me drained but feeling better. He told me today that in two months, BPD won’t be classified as a mental illness. I think that’s a bit nutty. True, telling people that I’m mentally ill is daunting, but not including BPD as a problem that needs real help from a qualified therapist is even nuttier.
BPD has been my tormentor for nearly 4 decades. I can’t imagine how different some aspects of my life would have been if I’d known all those years ago that it was a disorder and not just a “quirky personality.”