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Borderline Personality Disorder: Living with Fear and Uncertainty


 

When I listen to the eerie, haunting music of Sigur Ros, an Icelandic band, it takes me to a place of yearning, grief and loss and longing that I cannot identify and don’t understand. This is what my children would call Mum’s sad, weird, drunk music.  I used to listen to it in 2004 when I was not a well person.

How can you yearn for something that you don’t know exists?

How can you identify something when you are unaware of its existence?

How do you grasp onto something when it appears to have no substance?

If I discover and hold onto what it is will I be happy?

Do I really want to find out what it is that I am looking for?

Living with and taming the beast of uncertainty is something we all have to live with.  We are never quite sure how the day’s events will pan out.  At the end of the day when I review the timeline of what happened, I need to come away with a sense of, yes that went well, or no it didn’t go well, but tomorrow is another day.  The day after that I have to let go of the day before with all its sadness, badness and guts and glory and move forward.  This is called mindfulness, being aware of only the present moment in a non-judgemental way, because ultimately that is all we have.

Certain foods, textures, smells, voices, sights, sounds and the music of Sigur Ros puts me in a headspace where I am not sure where mindfulness lies.  I have to constantly bring myself back to the present moment because I find myself drifting off into outer space and I need to concentrate on more earthly requirements such as finishing that report I have to do for work, or picking up my children from school, cooking, cleaning, gardening and ringing my parents.

This is called staying grounded.  For people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder also known by some as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, visiting the past is either an easy floating journey; or an unceremonious and graceless catapault, yanked back in time through a sudden flashback.  This requires the mindful ability to pull out of the quicksand of traumatic memories and love lost; and out of the place of yearning, grief and loss and longing for something that happened or never happened 35 years ago.

Overcoming this feeling is called acceptance.  I accept that what happened was not my fault, I accept that I still have flashbacks from events not under my control and I accept that not everyone who purports to be my friend is my friend and that not everyone is a potential enemy waiting to sabotage my life.  That is called trust.

I still have nebulous trust issues that surface during times of personal stress.  Nowadays I recognize that my trust in good people can waver due to past events and I am quick to rectify the situation.  My past is not my future and my future is still uncertain.

And of that, I am completely certain.

Pictures:  http://techiekids.net/cartoon_pics.htm

Borderline Personality Disorder: Living with Fear and Uncertainty


Sonia Neale

Sonia Neale was recently awarded the Inaugural Barbara Hocking SANE Australia Fellowship to study and research Borderline Personality Disorder overseas in the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland. Her previous Psych Central blog was called Therapy Unplugged. She is the author of two books, The Bad Mother’s Revenge and Death by Teenager, both published by ABC Books/Harper Collins. She lives in Western Australia, is married with three adult children, has studied psychoanalytic psychotherapy, has a Certificate IV in Mental Health and is studying for a Psychology/Counselling degree. She currently works as a peer support worker in the mental health field.


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APA Reference
Neale, S. (2011). Borderline Personality Disorder: Living with Fear and Uncertainty. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/unplugged/2011/11/borderline-personality-disorder-living-with-fear-and-uncertainty/

 

Last updated: 12 Nov 2011
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