I've been a regular on the site for some time now and am reluctant to come forward with this post, as I'm scared of the repercussions to my professional life. Suffice to say I'm well known, please do not guess who I am under here. It's something I am prepared to address with people in chat, but I want to preserve my privacy. Please respect my privacy and not discuss who I may be in chat. If I see it being discussed and feel strong I will comment.
I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder some time ago. It's something that has been immensely difficult to live with and has made my and others lives around me fraught on many occasions.
It's something I've sought a lot of professional help for. Had many years of treatments and therapy, hospitalisations, suicide attempts and deep depressions.
Basically I cannot regulate my emotions. It's different to bipolar, as it's something that can and often happens on a daily basis and can happen many times in one day. It's like living with multiple people within myself. It's not like a multi personality disorder, it's more like the reasonable, calm and stable me can see what's going on, but cannot control it. The irrational emotional part of me takes grip and it's like going on a roller coaster ride and it's exhausting and also can be destructive. It can leave people bewildered and shocked and the instant change in personality and explosive emotions. Explosive, doesn't mean dangerous, it means intense.
Basically it's exhausting being me. I've tried everything I know and up until recently, almost every new psychiatric drug on the market. I haven't had electric shock therapy, but was considered for it during a bad depression, while I was in hospital. I haven't actually been psychotic. It's more of an emotional disorder rather than a mental disorder. It means, even though I can see I'm not reacting with proportion I'm stuck with riding this wave of emotions and it's cripping and tiring. It makes it hard when in the middle of a comment thread and I can feel myself losing it. Sometimes I just need to go offline, as I can feel myself being triggered and it's like everything feels like it's literally coming at me.
To describe it in a real life scenario, someone walked up to me (in my home) and was just talking, but they were gesturing and I was online. Their gestures and conversation started to feel like they were were grabbing paper and rustling it in my face. They were being normal. But it felt like the person kept grabbing like A4 papers and crumpling them up and waving them right in front of my nose. I couldn't even cope with the conversation, as I was trying to do something on my computer. They needed help over something stressful and that was my reaction. When I am emotionally overloaded it's like all the keys on an old fashioned typewriter being jammed in my brain. On old type writers, if you typed too quickly and ended up hitting too many keys close together they'd all jam in the on position and none of the keys would move. Not the ones pressed into a jammed clump or any others. That pretty much explains the stress in my brain.
Of course some times in life are easier than others. When things are calmer in life and there's no undue stress these emotional cycles are less easily triggered. When there's emotional trauma in my life it's much harder and of course these cycles in themselve generate stress. It's a horrid illness.
Anyway this is a condition I held closely guarded, as it was highly stigmatised for a long time, by the medical profession and it was a cruel stigmatisation. People with this condition are usually very traumatised, usually by childhood events and often exacerbated by further adult traumas. It's actually out of my control. It's not my fault I have this and I do everything I humanly can to control it. Yet to an outsider it can look like I'm out of control or lack insight, when that's actually not the case. Yes the cycle is something I cannot control in terms of the emotional roller coaster, but I can protect myself by going offline.
This video is enlightening about the condition.
The problem with admitting to a condition like this, is the possibility of being dismissed out of hand as being "over emotional", "mentally ill" or "out of control". Having this condition doesn't mean that my point of view or my thinking is flawed. It means I have difficulty maintaining control over my emotions when they flip. I leave the site by the time they're in that state. I find it hard to be assertive and have people say to me "you're emotional", "you're reacting", "you're taking this personally" when I actually feel in control. Chances are, if I'm hanging out on the site, I am in control. I am opinionated and really have a lot of difficulty relating to people. I'm sure that's something a lot of people can relate to. I'm direct, but because I disagree with you, it doesn't mean I'm upset. Even if I strongly disagree with you, it doesn't mean I'm "overly emotional". I may have some emotion, but having some emotion is ok.
I want to thank the Community Team for being so supportive over the years and to the long time members who know about this. You're fantastic human beings and I love each and every one of you. I hope each of you knows who I am addressing. Don't doubt it for a moment. Every one of you on the teams I'm referring to. You're amazing.
It's hard to see the site in such a state of flux - well rage in places. I hope we all come through it. In the meantime, I'm writing this, as there's so much discussion about "odd" groups of people. Silent groups. I thought I'd speak up and some people out there might think, hey it's not so bad being me. I'm not alone. And then there might be others who think... yeppers that makes total sense. Thanks for being patient with me and a big thank you to a community who has seen me at my best and my worst and still loved and supported me. Even when we disagree, at the end of the day, we're still part of the same community and that's a community we all care about.