There isn’t much as usual to report, because my life is nothing but ED these days, and has been nothing but ED for years. The fatigue means when i’m not in appointments, eating, or purging or exercising, I’m trying to sleep. ’Trying’ because even sleep sucks with ED.
Yesterday i saw Headshrinker, and he gave me a diagnosis that actually FITS me. I’ve suspected for years that i have PTSD. Yesterday he confirmed it – but calls it Complex PTSD. Apparently this is a new label – not yet in the DSM, but will be. From what I’ve found online so far, it’s like PTSD, but instead of the trauma being a once-off thing – it’s been ongoing over a long period – layers and layers of trauma. Yes, that’s me. And the other things I’ve read describe me to a T.
Goodbye to the Borderline label – Headshrink says I never had that, I have traits, I have traits of many PD’s – like avoidance, like anxiety, like the past self-harm, but I don’t HAVE a PD. I’m so relieved. I have HATED being labelled BPD. I know it’s not ‘bad’ and having learnt a bit more about it, it’s actually more ‘shitty childhood syndrome’ as one friend’s psych calls it. Not my fault. But it’s a horrible label and carries a lot of stigma. For example, it’s been bothering me more recently that members of a couple of groups I’m in for survivors of sociopathic and narcissistic abuse – lump BPD in with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (narcissists) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopaths/ psychopaths). Along with those, BPD IS a cluster B personality disorder… but it hurts to be likened to the very people who have abused you!
My case manager has been helping me find strategies to try and stay present and safe in my own mind – I spend a LOT of my life ‘not quite here’. Life is a minefield of triggers. Smells, sounds, touch, anything, and I’m off into the past, off and away in my own ongoing personal nightmare. A bit like living in a time machine.
Today we did sensory testing. She brought out a pile of different scents and we worked through them. Most things are attached to memories and feelings so it was a very overwhelming session and I was very far away at the end of it. But we found two that help – peppermint and aniseed – both strong, both a shock to the system for me. Both of them might help me to stay more present when I smell them.
We are also going to do more testing and aim to have my new home when I finally move in set up to be as safe and trigger-free as possible. The sad part is that I can’t plant my favorite plants and flowers – they trigger me even though i love them. But there are more out there to be found.
I also need to get a rocking chair, she says!! not likely! But I hope one day I will. In the meantime, I will challenge myself to forget what people might think and swing on the swings next time I’m at the park.. what fun
Have you been labelled in ways that you don’t believe fit you? How did that make you feel?
Are you sensitive to smell, touch, taste, sound – do particular sensations trigger memories or feelings in you?