I’ve somewhat stupidly signed up to take part in some research on Therapeutic Communities, having spent a year at one myself. I thought it would consist of filling out forms, which for some strange reason I get a real buzz out of, but it’s going to take place over the phone. The downside to this is that I have to be spontaneous (eek!) and can’t plan my answers in advance. Any other borderlines reading this will know that we thrive on control, especially when it comes to authority figures, so this is starting to stress me out big time.
My main concern has been a fear over how I will come across. But of course, it doesn’t matter! I’ll never meet this person face to face, and my name won’t be published in her research. So why is it so important that I don’t come across as a whingeing bpd’er?
This has obviously led to much introspection of my time at the TC, and whether my own feelings about it are valid. I could very easily come across as angry and negative about my experiences, but I don’t want to be so one sided. There must have been some positives surely? But I don’t want to think about them. Why not? Because then the blame for my decline over the last year, once more falls squarely on my shoulders, and it’s much easier to blame my therapist. The problem is that I’m really struggling to think of any positives. I’ll try making a list, and I’ll start with the negatives because that’s much easier, and it makes me feel better lol.
I gave up a longstanding full time job to attend the TC and haven’t managed to cope with work since.
I now self harm frequently, despite not having done so for years before I went there.
It has reinforced my mad status, rather than removed it. I am much more of a professional mental patient than I ever was, and having being deemed nutty enough to need to be in a TC, my gp now sees me as someone with severe mental health problems, rather than someone who suffers from occasional depression.
Discovering what feelings are has made my mood swings so much more painful. It’s not just about anger anymore, and after a year of being told that I am to blame, I have no one to shift those feelings onto. I’ve never felt suicidal for so long.
Being around people day in day out made me need human contact. Now that I am isolated again, apart from one friend and one family member, I find it much more difficult to cope with being alone. Yet the motivation to change that is still missing.
I made a good friend at therapy and we are still in touch.
I can eat in front of other people without feeling ashamed.
I can usually realise the triggers behind my moodswings.
I am back in touch with my Dad, after two years of not speaking. Something which the therapists pushed me to do.
Hmmm, well I guess there are some positives after all. The trouble is that a huge part of me is glad to be out of work and staying at home on benefits. I don’t want to get better and I don’t want to get a job. I’ve never wanted that. So there really wasn’t any chance that a TC was going to work for me. I either wanted to be 100% cured, in a fantastically well paid job, with a new partner and a great sex life, 2.4 kids, a size ten body, no dark feelings ever again, or constantly ill, dependent on others, preferably locked away for life, wasting away of starvation (didn’t manage that one lol), no expectations from anyone.
I guess the only thing I’ve learnt from therapy is that black and white feelings exist, and my life is ruled by them.