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Journal blinder's Journal: Personality Disorder 37

i've been out of therapy for a good long time now (about five months), all because i got laid off, and had to move (no medical coverage).

well, now that i've been working and have full benefits again, i've realized i need to start therapy again. i've known this all a long. i never, not once, thought that i was "cured" and could just not work on stuff without professional help. but, lately, i've realized, on my own, that i do indeed need to go back.

so, i got an email from one of our hr folks telling me where the online directory listing lives (to find a provider) and i started going through it this morning. the system is setup completely different than what i had in baltimore so i was just mostly left scratching my head at the over 300 listings.

i had to select "symptoms" and well, they weren't well defined. so, i had to do a bit of googling to figure it out. well, i find this page, which also happens to be published by my insurance company, that details what the symptoms mean.

turns out, my symptoms are best described as a "personality disorder."

oh good. i have often thought i never really had a definable personality.

so, i have two issues that need work. my acoa/abandoment issues (acoa is: adult child of an alcoholic) which feed most of my self-esteem problems (i tend to constantly beat myself up, for just about everything... and i have thin skin, so whenever anyone around me expresses anger, frustration or dismay... i figure its because of me). the other issue is a whole slew of grief issues i'm still holding on to.

yeah, so personality disorder. i don't like to think of myself as having a "disorder." i'm the one in our family who doesn't have problems. i'm supposed to be the one who is just laid back and goes with the flow. well, as i look around, that isn't the case. as i look around, i see that i've become, things i don't like... things i hate.

i've become lazy. i've let my avoidance problems to take over. i've forgotton how to follow through on just about everything. all the progress i made over the last year in those areas has been eroded... and i let it happen. i have no one to blame but myself.

oh sure, i have excuses. being laid off, moving, new life... etc. no... that shit just doesn't fly with me. everyone has excuses. what i need to pick up is responsiblity and leave the excuses in the gutter.

i picked out four names and phone numbers of doctors that specialize in grief and personality disorders. i'm not comfortable calling them from work because i don't have privacy. yeah, nothing like summarizing why i need an initial consultation over the phone with five or so co-workers within earshot. but then again, why the fuck should i care? they've already formed their opinions of me, doesn't matter what that may be.

i know i'm rambling. i don't feel good. i got an email from a friend who shed some light on a few things for me, and while nothing that i read is news to me, it was the context in which it was delivered that made the most impact.

right now i feel terrible. its taking everything i have to just not burst out into tears here at work. that just won't do. but fuck it. it doesn't matter. yeah i have problems. they are my ___own___ and its my job to take care of it. and i don't need pity, or any cheering up... i need professional help to get some tools to work on things.

i need to work on being a better person to myself. i need to stop the inner dialogs that are preventing me from actually hearing what is being said to me. i need to learn to understand better. i have a very slow mind. my mind works very slowly. i have to often replay a conversation over and over again in my head in order to get an understanding what i've been told... and that's where the defective filter comes into play. i need to grow thicker skin. i have to stop being so fragile. its odd, yeah, i'm fragile emotionally, but also tough... as tough as they come. i've been through a lot... and i'm still here. they haven't figured out a way to kill me yet, but i break easily. i don't want to break so easily. i want to learn to be less fragile but still care about things that are important to me.

i've seen it, people get tougher and break less easy because they stop caring. they turn completely inward and have no time or attention to anyone but themselves. i don't want that. i am sensitive, i care about people and the things they go through and i pride myself on being able to place myself in someone else's shoes... i don't want to lose that. but i also don't want to be damaged in the process.

i'm feeling really stupid right now. right now i feel like everything i've said here is completely empty. its because i've done a pretty good job at falling back on an old familiar skill... my ability to hide stuff that is going on in me. the reason i hide is, my fear of disapointment. i need to learn that i can't please everyone and everything, and by trying will only make things worse.

oh well. i'm calling this period a relapse. not a failure. my instinct is to call it a failure. but i won't. i've relapsed into old behavior patterns, but my initial round of therapy has taught me awareness... my eyes are still open which is why i can still see that things need work.

This discussion was created by blinder (153117) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Personality Disorder

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  • I'm in the same place right now, as far as falling into my old emotional habits go. The difference between us is that, while we may both have thin skin and things bother us that shouldn't, and things that aren't about us at all become about us in our own heads, I pretend nothing bothers me. Outside the confines of my bedroom, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has ever seen me express any emotion other than calm. Lately, I've been hiding my feelings even more and from people who are closer to me. Pe
  • I'm not knocking the therapy, just trying to find the disconnect...

    You know you have these issues, you know how to deal with them. What does the therapy actually do?

    (I've never been to therapy, Lord knows I could probably use some, so I'm just asking)
    • therapy doesn't actually *do* anything... except, and this is important, they _teach_ you how to develop tools to change counter-productive behaviors.

      i found that very valuable. the first tool i learned was awareness. may seem like such a simple thing, but in my case it was something i lacked.

    • You vocalize things to someone else. There is something immensely powerful about putting actual words around feelings and ideas. It both encapsulates them, makes them concrete, and shows you what aspects of it (the feeling, the situation, the dilemma) are most important to you. Words are powerful.

      I'll give you an example; I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I needed to change a line in an Ada spec, and how that was going to save 205k of heap space. Its a type in a spec! Shouldn't it only affec
      • ain't it CRAZY the way the mind works? that's definitely happened to me too.

        a similar idea (not really supportive of therapy though!) i really believe that reading some difficult material you need to understand before going to bed is processed while you sleep. i often do that and more often than not, the next day it's easier to figure out. i was doing that in my AI class all the time. I felt like that material was kicking my ass at first, but I started reading a chapter right before going to sleep (inst
        • Treadmill works wonders for me with that, as well.

          I like the sleep trick for remembering passwords. Works like a charm.
          • One of my former bosses figured out early on that if he described a particularly nasty problem to me then told me , within a day or two an answer would pop into my head. The first time I realised he was doing this was when he called me into a design discussion, explained the problem they were having, specifically told me to not to think about it and sent me back to my desk. That night an answer came to me in my sleep. When I presented my answer the next day, he admitted that was what he hoped would happen b
            • This is also my excuse for "web browsing all day"- my sub-conscious is working hard while I'm slashdotting.

              /I'm not sure how true that is or isn't.
              //Suppose I should sleep on it
              • 8-)

                My current client seems to accept that when I seem to be slacking off browsing the web, that is when I am probably working hardest for him. As soon as inspiration strikes I will start churning out code a good 10-15 times faster than the other guys here. (Plus the code is generally orders of magnitude better.)

                Unfortunately some of the other guys try to emulate my genius by browsing the web too, but for them it really is slacking. They don't gots the magic.

                Yeah. I'm damn good at what I do, even if I someti
                • I actually got ding'd at a job for not generating enough cycles on our server (easy to track, since I was the only employee)
                  My explanation was that I was rn'ing comp.lang.perl to LEARN it. (I even posted and got helpful info from not only Randall, but from Christiansen!)

                  After that I wrote a script to kick off jobs that would sleep and do random stuff.

                  I'm damn good at what I do, even if I sometimes forget that I am as great as I am.
                  I smell a new years resolution...
    • If you don't mind me chiming in...

      You know, like physical therapy, em? You know you have had a hip replacement, so just deal with the pain and start walking. Nah. A systematic regime of physical therapy will help make you strong and prevent future injury.

      Same thing, even moreso, with the brain. A lot of people have tons of bad habits and unhealthy worldviews due to their issues and not seeing them for so long. It takes a lot of "exercise" to "exorcize" them. It's like getting your neurons rearranged o
      • works for me.

        Nice explanation.

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  • You "blame" people who intentionally do bad things while absolutely knowing better! You don't blame people who don't exactly know better yet. On the surface, you know what's good, but it hasn't become part of you.

    Taking responsibility, though, is good! :) It's all about how ya word it which has a big impact (because your wording of things shows everything). I'd always say I was dumb to people. Now, I rarely think that anymore, instead I think, "I have to learn what this is all about." It's all perspec
  • At least you know you need to be in therapy and you're taking steps to find one. A lot of people just shut down and become automatons.

    I was once told that it was a form of narcissism to take things personally, that no one thinks about you as much as you think they're thinking about you. There is a grain of truth in that, even if I didn't like the doctor who told it to me. :-) Most people, especially in casual conversation aren't thinking through everything they're saying and assume the listener will take

  • and i'll go with you if you want.

    Roots, man. That's what you need. You need to put down some real roots to get nourishment from the world around you, and then you can bend and sway with the world and not get uprooted.

    Trees are strong.

    You have to be who you are, growing and whole, and then nothing can break you- personalities are hopefully more round than trees, and harder to uproot.

    Hang in there. Don't waste time on blame, and i have my own bad habits to deal with, so we'll be patient with each other.

    • thank you. and yes... i'll take a mocha :)

      yeah roots. i understand that. something i haven't had in, well, i can't really remember ever having roots. i don't look at it as something i've lacked... just a component i have done without. but i understand the importance of roots.
  • every single person on this planet has personality disorders.

    Many just don't know it.

    This comment brought to you by the letters W T F and B B Q.
  • But.....whatever happened to scans of the coloring books? Did you two stay in the lines? Are you horrible at choosing colors for the kittens? How many kittens ended up purple? How many storm troopers ended up purple? Some of us want to know!! Well..uhm...I guess just me. WHEEEE!
    • How many storm troopers ended up purple?

      When I was a kid I had a Star Wars colouring book. One picture was a Stormtrooper - nothing else. Easiest damn picture I ever coloured in! Those dudes wear white armour - the page is already white. Without even picking up a pencil you're done. 8-)
  • by trmj ( 579410 )
    There's a difference between not caring, not worrying, and not showing it. A big difference.

    The people who most commonly "care" and "worry" aloud for others are the ones who get caught up in the "How could this have happend?" and "Why did this happen to me/him/her?" instead of the real question: "How can we make it better?"

    You said before that it's kind of a good thing that Jenn worries about everything, because it evens me out, and I worry about nothing. Well, that's not exactly true. I have my worri
    • maybe it's a PA thing. I refuse to worry over something I can't change. If it's already happened, I can't do anything about it, so let's look at what we *CAN* do instead. No use in crying over spilt milk and all that. Would've, could've, should'ves make for great stories after the fact, but don't ever accomplish anything.


  • Try # 2 at posting this- sorry if there is a dupe- but Error 500 doesn't tell me very much as to whether or not the post was successfull.

    I'm VERY familiar with PDD-NOS, aka Personality Devlopment Disorder, not otherwise specified. It's cousin is PD It's the catch-all for people who may be autistic but aren't specifically covered by one of the other disorders in the DSM-IV. This is the first you've mentioned the inability to understand other people- the replay of conversations in your mind in an attempt t
    • i gotta chime in here. He's not autistic.

      He's just not wired to learn verbal communications by audio.

      He can get the subleties of emotional exchange just fine- it's that there's stuff going on already, and he processes audio slowly if it's got heavy left-brain meaning. He also lived TEN YEARS with someone who spent all her time mad at him and wouldn't play fair, so it's to be understood if he's not in the habit of speaking up. She's left scars in him that i just can't stop being appalled at; i can on
      • everything in here is dead on accurate... even the last part... the "personality disorder" is the insurance company's way of _classifying_ the type of support i need (i don't want to contact a therapist that only handles eating disorders, for example).

    • PDD-NOS, aka Personality Devlopment Disorder

      MH42, I think you meant Pervasive Development Disorder. Whatever. We both know what you meant, regardless of which is "right".


      Definately get back to therapy.

      If you need people to talk to, know that we're here for you.

  • and that it's unnecessary. it's tough to do everything as best as you can all the time. it might even be impossible. everyone is capable of more than they accomplish.

    you're alright dave. sure you've got some things to work on, but as em pointed out, we all do. all you can do is assess and move forward.

    you may feel like you've backslided all the way, but if you examine things, you're not in the same place you were. you're in a totally different situation and need to learn how what you've learned applie
  • I don't like having a "disease", but it's my lot in life. But the things about you and I, see, is that we're doing things about it. However reluctantly or slowly, they're getting done.

    Progress, my friend. Better than standing still.

  • and i don't need pity, or any cheering up

    I don't feel pity for you, I am sad that people go through this. I also know that "cheering up" won't help right now. No problem.

    acoa/abandoment issues (acoa is: adult child of an alcoholic) which feed most of my self-esteem problems (i tend to constantly beat myself up, for just about everything... and i have thin skin, so whenever anyone around me expresses anger, frustration or dismay... i figure its because of me)

    Easy concept, sometimes-difficult journey
  • How I wish I had gone to therapy when I turned stupid. I was laid off within a few weeks of getting married. I turned inward, lost touch with my wife, with my life, and with myself. Only now am I finally starting to become the person I am- and this was two years ago. Looking back on it I wish I had gone to therapy. I did in college but, with both of us unemployed for wahile there, there simply wasn't funding for it. So I narrowly averted a very short marriage, and I'm still working hard to make it bac
  • Hey, I'm not going to tell you I know what you're going through, but I have been through something similiar. I have OCD, and it was pretty bad for a while. The thing which saved my life was working with a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapist). From what you're talking about, it seems that this is absolutely the kind of person you need to be working with.

    I'd be more than happy to talk to you about this if you want, you can find me on AIM at AntiFreeze42 (or reach me at gmail at the same name). I will be away

  • Don't worry about it dude . I have Bipolar affective disorder .. I am stuck with it my whole life , thankfully I am finally on medication that is working and I am less irrationally emotional , EG: one time we were playing cards I lost and took the cards outside and buried them as I was pissed off .. for this other time I burst in to tears as I couldn't find my lighter , Then there are the hyper manic mood swings , which can be fun but you end up remembering the next day and some times feeling so embarrasse
  • i need to stop the inner dialogs that are preventing me from actually hearing what is being said to me. i need to learn to understand better. i have a very slow mind. my mind works very slowly. i have to often replay a conversation over and over again in my head in order to get an understanding what i've been told... and that's where the defective filter comes into play.

    This is something I need to work on too. I need to be able to just let go of some things, but instead I find myself replaying conversations
  • oh well. i'm calling this period a relapse. not a failure.

    Sounds like you're already on the right track - taking responsibility, recognizing the easy excuses, finding a new therapist, and so on. Yeah, that is definitely a temporary relapse ... not a failure. Good on you for seeing the trend and doing something about it.
  • made me remember one of my favorite Farside cartoons: Two polar bears staning outside an igloo and one is reaching his arm into the hole at the top of the igloo... caption said " My favorite kind, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle" . But then again I am just waking up so my mind isn't working too well right now.

    I have always felt that the best sign of a healthy mind is knowing when to ask for help. Hope you find a good therapist.

    this is fun, being able to respond the same day a post is wr

  • I take responsibility for everything. Danny got an A, not an A+. I have to work harder with him... yadda fucking yadda.

    The thing that would immediately separate us is I simply refuse to acknowledge a lot of things.

    It's like when my dad got busted for DUI. He just stopped drinking the next day. Bam! Went to AA and announced to the all of them that they were fucking weak and if they wanted to stop they would. He was drinking about a case of Schmidt's every 2 days at the time with liberal doses of Jack
  • A long time ago on Slashdot, I read some sort of story from someone and their own struggles with getting labelled with a disorder. Not sure if this helps, but here's what I can remember of it.

    If you have problems and want to work on solutions, this is a good and difficult thing to do - go for it. If being labelled ______ means you have new, effective strategies and tools at your disposal, your "label" is a GOOD thing. If you always use your label as an excuse and a means to avoid doing the hard work on i
  • I have gone to a therapist off and on for about 14 years. To call it a relapse is unfair.

    You get to a point in therapy where you have solved all the problems at the surface and there's nowhere to go. That's when you take a break until the next set of problems/issues surface and then you go back.

    I wish you luck on finding a new therapist that will work well with you.


No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.