Category Archives: Borderline Personality Disorder

Mental Meanderings

Mental Meanderings

By Matt Carlson

He said, “I’m leaving.” Then he added, “I’m going to stay at my Mom’s.” Then he was gone and there we were, the dogs and I, alone. It was a horrible moment. There had been no real discussion. The phantom that had been my boyfriend for ten years left as if he had never been there. Well, he hadn’t really. I continued to pay for the house credit and other bills alone. I’d lived with someone who had always hated himself, always looking for a sexual liaison with a stranger. Someone who hid inside his computer, then within the virtuality of his telephone. They were safe places, his smart phone and computer, he didn’t have to respond honestly to any questions there. He could easily play with the anonymity of it all. I imagined him locked up in a small room asleep with only cables connected to his brain and a computer while an animated character lived his life somewhere; his real body safely locked away.

In December of 2013, he had simply said to me while sitting outside in the garden, in the sun, a cigarette in hand, “I think we should break up. There’s nothing left between us.” It was the first time that it was he who had brought up the subject; I was usually the one that said it. The way he said it was as if he were waiting for a particular response. I didn’t give it to him. On the contrary, I agreed that it was a good idea to separate. But adding, “I don’t think that there’s nothing left between us – I think we are still friends.” He didn’t answer.

There, I was wrong…It takes two to be friends.

The slippery slope that we’d now ventured upon wasn’t immediately visible. I’d somehow forgotten or put aside the fact that I was dealing with someone who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder; an alcoholic too. Why is it that when we break up with someone, we imagine that they are going to have the same perception of things – or even be reasonable  –  and are shocked by the reaction we have in front of us?  My ex cried that night out on the terrace, sobbing while holding onto his wine bottle and glass. I went to him, to comfort him. It didn’t last long, me holding him in my arms telling him it would be al-right. He didn’t want me to, I hadn’t said what he’d wanted to hear. So, I left him there as his tears subsided in the black of the night, his anger surfacing, on our unfinished terrace. He had wanted me to plead for us, for another chance, to say ‘let’s stay together’ but I didn’t feel that. The on going pain of dealing with this hurt, broken and angry individual had just gone over the top. I had no more desire, no more strength to try and convince him that life could be beautiful – that we could be. Especially to someone who only knew beauty as a concept, as a visual design on a computer screen  –  his true profession in fact  –  a graphic artist – well, it all made more sense now.

Our unfinished ruin of a house sat there. The hours upon hours of my own labor upon it, for it, for us,  would be the weapon used against me to make me suffer. My name wasn’t on the title and all of the promises of protecting me had gone out the window. My ex would try and take everything away, an attempt to erase my very presence from it  –  from our mutual project. Even his Mother would add fuel to the fire by attempting with her son to keep our dogs away from me. A five month ‘kidnapping’ of sorts would end up with my going and getting them at the Mother-in-laws house in the country. She attacked me, but ended up falling on the ground as I avoided her with the dogs in my arms, my ex running after me like a maniac suddenly (though he was supposedly unable to walk at this time due to a back problem)…His attack of feet and fist marks left on the side of our mutual car Peugeot – just before I could drive safely away…

Later on I had to respond to incredible lies of breaking and entering, theft of money and of my own dogs and that I had physically attacked and beaten my Mother-in-law!  It all seemed surreal – but the hate was only beginning. My ex would continue to lie and paint a new picture far from the reality of what was.  I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised by the letter from a shady lawyer hired from my ex describing me basically as a monster, turning the truth into a mockery of justice, or the… and the… etc, etc…

 

Today, I am moving on and recreating a new life. I am still unsure as to whether I want to battle again for at least a return on my investment of my home for over nine years; the fact that I paid for half of his house credit too over that period – a few months paying for it alone as well. I’m feeling like it would take a lot of energy away from me, from moving into a positive direction. Maybe not…  Maybe I need to finish the battle in order to move on… It’s either that or accept things as the way they are and put that aside. What is the most important thing here? To move on? To look back? To move on but to at least respond to what was? To get at least a part of my investment back?

 

I’m still questioning that – if only a little bit.

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Road Trip by Matt Carlson

Road trip? Kind of. But a bit of a different one! A life changing road trip with an intention of moving on, not knowing what that destination will actually bring to your life, because it’s not just about the road trip – its the choice I’ve made to leave France.

A big f***ing road trip, huh? And yes I am flipping out – the stress shows itself at strange moments. It’s better to lay off the coffee for sure. After almost 27 years of living here in France too – half my lifetime. Add to that the recent ending to a disasterous ten year relationship with a sufferer of Boderline Personality Disorder and consequent attacks of a hateful nature! Yuck, huh?? (I’ve had to defend myself against repetitive lies & the twisting of reality or just plain nastiness…)  I won’t go into detail here (and this is not why I am leaving) but the change (though it may be short) will be helpful. I think its true that returning home after time living elsewhere can only improve your perspective of it.

I did return this summer and there was a whole lot of joy going on seeing people that I loved after a fifteen year absence. It was my intention to reconnect with family and a few friends. Connect I did and I was sooo happy to see that I wasn’t the only one happy about that ! 😉

Today I’ve left Paris after finding work! I know, crazy, huh? Well paid work too, but I was feeling an important desire to go home. To be with my brothers and their families, my cousins, nephews & nieces…. and of course friends that I haven’t seen for ages. It might not work out, it could be alot of pain for alot of effort, maybe it would be safer to stay in France….but all of those thoughts, I’ve put aside because my intention of being with loved ones is so much stronger.

This is the moment. It’s now or never. In ten years, if I don’t go I will always wonder. This way I’m going to see it for myself and I will have no doubts about an ‘eventual’ outcome. It will be what it will be. We cannot know what the future holds for us, we can only try to create a part of it’s outcome – yet we are not the only factors in determining that outcome. So, what are you going to do? Not do something because of fear ? Not do something because other people don’t agree with you? Not do it because someone is going to get mad at you? That people won’t understand? Judgement? ….The list is long. Life is short.

Follow your instincts. Live a life of following your purpose whatever it is. No one and I mean NO ONE can tell you what you are all about! That’s up to you! And me, my life, like you and yours, it’s not other people who decide (though many try to do that for us); it’s up to us.

Be happy. Look for fulfillment within, find that purpose. Then learn how to share it. I’ve found mine…still learning how to share it.

Take care dear reader!

 

 

A Gay Couple Made in Heaven (part 1) by Matt Carlson

meandoliver

A Gay Couple Made in Heaven (part 1) by Matt Carlson

The end of our ten year year relation started just before Christmas last year on the 21st of December. My compagnon (I will name him Garp) spat out suddenly while sitting under a cypress tree at our home,

“There’s nothing left between us.” I asked him to repeat what he had said, he did and I said that “I didn’t see things that way.” Though the intimacy was no longer manifesting itself, to me we were still best friends. We were family.

But we were at an impasse with little or no discussion going on. No communication. Like 2 stale pieces of bread left out just sitting there waiting for someone to either make bread crumbs of us or throw us out in the trash….

Or maybe like two cows saying “_ooo”, and “_ooo” as they’d lost their “M”.

It’s not that I hadn’t tried to create communication with Garp, but sometimes there comes a moment when  all of the efforts have been made – that finally you know you don’t have any control over it. Too, I was very tired. My answer was to suggest that we take six months to figure out the next step. As usual there was no response from my “ex” who when emotions ran high was unable to say anything. It was next to impossible to read his mask. Years of molding a wax-like face which wouldn’t allow any emotions to show – no one must see the bubbeling underneath. Of course Garp paid the price of this constant effort of detachment from his own emotions (as did I – I was in front of the mask not wearing it)…But it never worked. Emotions cannot be turned off. They have to be expressed somehow. If we don’t express ourselves in a healthy manner, those emotions will come out in other ways: through pain to yourself and pain to others.

Every night it was the same thing, Garp would drink himself into a state of drunkenness, usually starting out in the kitchen (where he would hide his constant refills) stumble into the living area when everything was ready, then sit there saying nothing, sharing nothing. A zombie to himself, un undead to me. I would try to sometimes get him to talk, but that was a waste of time. Either he would start saying things that were absolutely crazy or having hit some automatic button inside his head start to repeat something that had happened to him in the past for the hundred thousand time…something he had not made peace with. Sometimes, it would be okay. Or of course, there were times when we would argue and no one would eat finally. Or maybe just me.

I had pills to suck down in order to stay healthy.

And how many times did I pick him up and put him to bed? Too many to count…. To be fair, when the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) was determined over 5 years ago, I took a deep breath of….”phew!” and then “what?” and then while reading about BPD on Wikipedia, I felt tremendous relief. Relief because it was as if someone had written about Garp personally on those pages! So I wasn’t crazy after all (sometimes after hours of intensive heavy discussions or discussions which became “therapy” with Garp I thought I was losing my mind…) My past experiences in psychology (7 years in the field before meeting Garp) helped me enormously in keeping distance from what was happening and also helped me to use tools in dealing with him. However, you cannot have a relationship with someone and be his or her therapist. And I didn’t want to be his therapist. I only wanted to be in love and to build a beautiful life together. But that takes two to do that. Unknowingly (or should I say unconsciously?) I had chosen this guy who I thought needed me, who didn’t seem to have any idea what love was about.

In the very beginning I saw signs that bothered me. I remember him sitting in his apartment and sitting there with his mask on. It was so strange; I didn’t know how to react to it. I didn’t know what it was that sat there before me. I saw someone locked inside himself, who ambushed ideas of success, yet seemed to want to break the mold of his own prison, whatever it was. This was new to me, this way of being.  Knowing that there was something amiss, I decided to stay and see things through.  I wasn’t  looking at things though the lens of a therapist. This was my boyfriend. I guess you could say that I was stupid, or ignorant or maybe a million other things. But I just cared, wanted to make things better, wanted to show him what love was. Share that with him. Be together. I knew love…so if he didn’t, he would learn it soon enough, right?…

But even that in the beginning was strange. In the mornings, afternoons and in the evenings there was a recoiling to being touched. Didn’t get that. His body said “I want it!” Yet his words oftentimes in opposition. You never knew when it was okay and when it wasn’t. Where were the signs? I had learned a long time ago that when you start having that ongoing conversation, trying to figure out all those confusing, conflicting signs, well it’s better to move on…(I failed to listen to my own advice)…Nothing was spontaneous for him. Little did I know, he was in turmoil. His BPD didn’t allow a normal relationship. It didn’t fit into things somehow… For me, spontaneity was natural. That was and is how I am. I didn’t and don’t need to have a talk in my head about physical stuff or about pleasure. Making love and being in that one hundred percent was easy.

(*To be continued…Feel free to leave a comment. Would love to hear your feedback;))