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I Guess I’ll Be a Doctor – Part 2

My Sad Story

BPD Impairment 5 – Instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans

 

Up until the summer after my grade twelve graduation, I had planned to be a priest. Part of this was, of course, to please my mother who was convinced that I was special because I was the seventh son, and being special, of course, meant the highest calling, the priesthood. I also attended an all-boys Catholic high school where I was taught by priests (with the exception of my Physics teacher who was a lay person). About twice a year, Father Gocarths would come around and interview and counsel and encourage the boys who had hopes of becoming priests. Because of my near perfect grades he informed me that I would spend one year in a novitiate in Ottawa and then move on to studies in Rome. However, it was during my Grade Twelve year that I discovered women.

Read More at: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor-part-2/

I Guess I Will Be a Doctor

We move on to the second section on impaired personality functioning –  on the DSM 5 – Self-direction. The description is, “instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans”. We are really stuck on this one so we will just wing it. I have no experience with it as it is one of the few descriptors that I did not check off in my survey. I had a one, no problem. In addition, I could not find any research studies on the topic. Let’s take it one step at a time and hope it adds up to something that we can hang our hats on.

Read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor/

Poet Laureate

Two Mondays later, and after a lot of fun and fear, I have been awarded the position of Poet Laureate of the Comox Valley District. I would like to thank everyone involved and congratulate all the candidates for two evenings of remarkable poetry.  I would like you all to stay tuned and start posting with the hashtag #ComoxValleyPoetry or #lgbqtpoetry on Instagram, and please send me your poetry so I can start a new page just for poets. The following is my newsletter regarding the position:
Read more:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/new-comox-valley-poet-laureate-lawrence-cooper/

– Dissociative states under stress – Part 2

This is the part two on the fourth impairment for Borderline Personality Disorder as noted in the DSM5. As previously noted there is a strong correlation between bisexuality and BPD.

Another Sad Story

In January, right in the middle of my depression, my mother died. She was ninety-two. Somewhere along the way I had lost touch with her. Yes, I visited her once or twice a year, but we never hugged or kissed. When she died, I did not feel anything: no longing, no regret, no love. We were a very large, five-generation, French Catholic family. During my eulogy, tears erupted from all corners of the packed church. These moments require tears to wash away the pain of separation, the pain of lost opportunity to somehow fix something that had been broken. My voice broke, but I could not cry.

To read more:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/dissociative-states-under-stress-part-2/

Me Lawrence, and my other me Lawrence, and my other me Lawrence

We have come to the last, and perhaps most difficult to describe and comprehend, symptom on this section of impairments in personal functioning on the DSM 5, namely: “Dissociative states under stress”. When we see this definition, we immediately think of dissociative identity disorder (me Lawrence, and my other me Lawrence); however Borderline Personality Disorder, although having some similarities, is essentially quite different.

To read more:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/me-lawrence-and-my-other-me-lawrence-and-my-other-me-lawrence/

Impairment – Chronic Feelings of Emptiness – Part 2

Back to my case study of my “self”. I had continuous feelings of emptiness as far back as I can remember into childhood. I remember as an eight-year-old one day stopping at the Catholic Church (where I was an altar boy) and just sitting in the pew staring at the flame that indicated that Christ was present just so I would not feel alone. However, I was different than most people with feelings of emptiness; I was also able to feel extreme anxiety and anger. It would switch from one to the other, feelings of emptiness followed by feelings of anxiety. Therefore I had one foot on the path of anxiety and suicidal thoughts but the other on the path of hopelessness. Read more at:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/impairment-chronic-feelings-of-emptiness-part-2/

Nobody Likes Me

Impairment – Chronic Feelings of Emptiness – Third in a series related to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) based on the impairments and personality traits listed in the DSM5.

When we seek to define emptiness, we come up with adjectives such as hopelessness, loneliness, and isolation. But it is more than that; we feel emotionally dead, no excitement, no joy. Being alone is very difficult so we fill time up with work addiction and an unending stream of activity. At some point, we become mentally and emotionally exhausted. 

Read more at
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/nobody-likes-me/

I Hate Myself – Impairment – Excessive self-criticism

Do you blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong? Are you always the first to apologize? Do you hear a voice inside your head reminding you of all the things that have gone wrong in the past? Join the club. We have the second impairment – excessive self-criticism. I think the description is in the description. The title speaks for itself. Read more here…

http://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-just-hate-myself-impairment-excessive-self-criticism/

Borderline Personality Disorder – My Story

 

shirt-tie-w-out-white-background-final-13A Sad Story – A Case Study of One*

Please Note: I will use this section to add a personal application to all the technical stuff. It is my hope that if you have BPD you will realize that you are not alone and that if I can make it than you gotta believe that you can too.)

 

A was born into a single parent family with eight children. I was the ninth child and the seventh son. I later found out that everyone else’s father was not my father. When George (everyone else’s dad) left mom to raise the kids by herself, she was pregnant at the time, and her stress brought on a premature baby who never really got her feet under her. She died at about eighteen months due to infection from complications with teething. Looking for support, she had an affair and got pregnant with me. When I was born, she had a physical and mental crash. The other eight kids went into the orphanage and I went to live with my 76 year old grandmother. After several months, mom recooperated (pun intended), got her kids back and started to put her life back together again. Mom never bonded with me because I was her mortal sin, according to The Catholic Church, and God would soon take me anyway. Just about at that time my grandmother died and I lost my bond we shared. My thirteen year old sister quit school to raise me while mom tried to make a wage to feed her family.  She never came to my games or school events although I excelled at both. I cannot remember my mother kissing or hugging me until my fortieth birthday.

Because of this rough beginning, I never developed a solid sense of self. I tried to please everyone in the hope that they would approve and show some form of acceptance and love towards me. I became a perfectionist believing that if I showed the world just how good I was they would have to accept me and love me. I must have a powerful constitution (HS) because I managed to survive for fifty-five years. That’s when I was forced to go into an extensive eighteen week, five hours a day, five days a week intensive, group therapy program. That’s when they nailed me with the BPD label, which was okay, because that allowed me to go on long term disability and still collect my salary. Paid vacation. Not.

I have been a student of BPD ever since which led to my quest to understand it, leading to the thirty-seven traits I have identified from the DSM 5* (aside:  totally unscientific but makes sense to me. There I go, apologizing again – impairment 2 – for something that needs no apology. In fact, it’s a damn good idea. When I count them up looking back to those days just before the crash, I had a nine or ten on seventeen of the impairments and traits and an overall score of 242. Bet you can’t beat that.) Above all, I had a poorly developed and unstable self-image. Give me a ten on this one. That’s enough for now. Believe me, hang in there, it does get better as we will see in the following chapters.

Creative Moments

Please Note: I think it’s time to leave the research and theories behind for a while and look at BPD from an emotional point of view. Feelings from the heart instead of ideas from the mind. So here goes. The play within the play whereby I’ll catch the conscious of the king (me)(Hamlet).

During one weekend, I attended a writer’s workshop that focused on owning our work and feeling good about it. One of the activities really hit home. We were to carry on a written dialogue with the child within. The voice of the higher self (adult) was expressed by writing with the dominant hand and the voice of the child with the other. The following is what I came up with:

Child: It’s dark in here.

Adult: Where are you?

Child: I don’t know. Mom left me here alone a long time ago.

Adult: I was always there with you.

Child: No you weren’t. I didn’t see you.

Adult: I was watching safely from a distance.

Child: Why didn’t you come and play with me? I was scared.

Adult: I’m not sure. I cared for you, but something seemed to be holding me back. Where was your mother?

Child: I never had a mother. There was a woman. She made my meals. We watched TV together but she was not my mother.

Adult: How do you know?

Child: She never held me. She never kissed me. She never said she loved me.

Adult: What about your father?

Child: I never had a father.

Adult No one?

Child: Just you. But you never held me, or kissed me, or said you loved me either.

Adult: But I was there. I didn’t do those things because I wanted you to be strong, to grow up to be a man. Surely you must remember my visits, those poems I wrote to you over the years?

Child: Yes, thank you. I still have all of them. I read them when I feel lonely.

Adult: I am sorry I neglected you. Please forgive me.  But there is still time. Perhaps you can be the child of my mature years, like my grandson?

Child: Yes, I would like that. Do you have time to play now?

Adult: Yes I do, all the time in the world. We can have our own special time every day after lunch until before dinner. Would you like that?

Child: Oh yes! That would be fun. But not golf. I hate golf. How about tag or hide and seek? I can hide someplace in the dark and you can come and find me.

Adult: And yes, and we can both run for home…

Child: And yell HOMEFREE!!

Adult: Yes let’s do it.

Child: And you can hug me and say you love me.

Adult: Yes, I promise. I do love you, you know?

Child: I know.

The Silver Lining

What can we take from this? Most of us borderliners with BPD have had to survive with a wounded child, often because of childhood neglect or abuse. Because of what we have experienced, we now have the opportunity through the power of our Higher Self, to use these experiences to grow into conscious beings, to use our trials to give insight into what it means to awaken to the infinite possibilities of the universe. Once we deal with our problems with self-esteem and develop a positive self-concept, we will be miles ahead of the rest of the population who haven’t yet faced their demons and discovered their Higher Self. We can now revisit those days again and do some healing, and then pass this knowledge on to others.

My five suggestions for borderliners

  1. If you have no self-identity issues and no BPD problems – enjoy the read.
  1. If you are one of us who struggles with poor self-identity and poor self-image, you are not alone. We* can learn to accept ourselves just the way we are. We can seek a new foundation. We bond with ourselves. We bond the fragile ego-self with the spiritually powerful higher self (HS). We become our own parent and give ourselves a hug whenever we need one.
  1. We flood our self with self-love from the HS. We practice looking in the mirror and seeing the higher self within. We do this until we can look ourselves right in the eye and say “I love you”, and mean it, and feel it. It will feel like a rush as the HS accesses the pleasure center of the brain. When we do this, we bring the two identities, the mind self and the higher self, together. We enter into the awareness of the infinite power of our Self-identity as body, mind, and soul.
  2. We tell ourselves we love our self (body, mind and spirit) over and over again day after day after day, until all the old feelings are permanently erased.  When confronted with a moment of self-doubt, we stop it. We tell ourselves that we are better than that; in fact, we are beautiful and powerful beings in complete control of our emotions and feelings. We make a conscious decision to let go of the negative feelings associated with low self-esteem, and embrace the positive feelings bathed with love from our higher self. We do not blame our negative mind self, we thank it for being diligent and assure it that things will be different from now on.
  3. Set aside fifteen minutes a day for meditation with a purpose; namely to become aware of and appreciate the presence of our higher self.

 

* (Last aside in this chapter: I like to use “we” because using “you” can really be hard on borderliners with an already a poor self-image that says that any kind of unwanted advice is criticism, and intervention is useless. “We” means we are not alone; we are in this together. You may wish to sign up to my newsletter and attend some of my webinars at lawrencejwcooper.ca. These are free services that I offer, because, like the Ancient Mariner, I feel compelled to tell my story to anyone who will listen.)

 

The Borderliner Survey

shirt-tie-w-out-white-background-final-4

We have been looking at ways to live better and healthier lives as bisexuals. We discovered that a large percentage of us have had to learn to live with Borderline Personality Disorder. By looking at the impairments and traits listed on the DSM5, we can define areas that we can work on so that we can overcome issues related to our sexual orientation. I have devised the following self-administered survey to help us pinpoint some issues that we may wish to work on.

Self-administered Borderliner Survey

Give yourself a score for each item with 1 being “never, no problem” and 10 being “always, this really sucks”.    When you are finished add up the scores.

37 – 50               No problem

50 – 100             Might be a few things I need to work on

100 – 150           There are some issues here that require my attention

150 – 200            I may need to seek counseling to work on some of my issues

200+                    I need to take action. I am definitely at risk for depression and self harm                              or  suicidal behavior.

  1. Markedly impoverished, poorly developed, or unstable self-image, ______
  2. Excessive self-criticism; ______
  3. Chronic feelings of emptiness; ______
  4. Dissociative states under stress ______
  5. Instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans ______
  6. Compromised ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others ______
  7. interpersonal hypersensitivity (i.e., prone to feel slighted or insulted); ______
  8. Perceptions of others selectively biased toward negative attributes or vulnerabilities ______
  9. Intense, unstable, and conflicted close relationships; ______
  10. Marked by mistrust, neediness; ______
  11. Anxious preoccupation with real or imagined abandonment; ______
  12. Close relationships often viewed in extremes of idealization and devaluation; ______
  13. Alternating between over involvement and withdrawal. ______
  14. Unstable emotional experiences and frequent mood changes; ______
  15. Emotions that are easily aroused, intense, and/or out of proportion to events and circumstances.    ______
  16. Intense feelings of nervousness, tenseness, or panic, often in reaction to interpersonal stresses;   ______
  17. Worry about the negative effects of past unpleasant experience and future negative possibilities;  _____
  18. Feeling fearful, apprehensive, or threatened by uncertainty; ______
  19. Fears of falling apart or losing control; _____
  20. Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity; ______
  21. Fears of rejection by – and/or separation from – significant others; ______
  22. Fears of excessive dependency and complete loss of autonomy; ______
  23. Frequent feelings of being down, miserable, and/or hopeless; ______
  24. Difficulty recovering from such moods; ______
  25. Pessimism about the future; ______
  26. Pervasive shame; ______
  27. Feeling of inferior self-worth; ______
  28. Thoughts of suicide and suicidal behaviour; ______
  29. Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli; ______
  30. Acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; ______
  31. Difficulty establishing or following plans; ______
  32. A sense of urgency and self-harming behavior under emotional distress; ______
  33. Engagement in dangerous, risky, and potentially self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard to consequences;    ______
  34. Lack of concern for one’s limitations; ______
  35. Denial of the reality of personal danger. ______
  36. Persistent or frequent angry feelings; ______
  37. Anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults. ______

 

#bisexualityandBPD

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