Feeling Tender (as in raw)

Wyoming landscape

Wyoming landscape (Photo credit: theclyde)

I’m half way through a two thousand + mile driving trip with my son. I’ve been away from home for over two weeks (and all the “missing stuff” that goes with being away that goes with that) because I flew back to my mom’s to help my son drive her car back to our place. She had just sold it to him. While there, we found she’d broken her ankle. I stayed longer to get her through surgery and into rehab. When we left to start our drive home, it was emotional for me, but I held it in because emotional is hard for her. And I’m an emotional person. My dad passed away two months ago, she’s 88 and in a hospital bed, and I don’t know when the next time I will see her will be. Then my son and I headed out. We get along great until we argue. During the first thousand miles, we did ok. But last night, we clashed. It wasn’t even the clashing that hurt, but he the tends to emulate (he doesn’t think so, so it may be subconscious ) the way my husband talks to me when I get angry. Coming from a 17 year old, it sounded condescending to me. And that’s what hurt my emotional self. For those of you who may not know much about BPD, we are extremely sensitive when it comes to emotions – like having an emotional skin that is sun third degree burned.The slightest touch to our emotions can be excruciatingly painful. Over sensitive to the Nth degree. For me, it’s not all the time, but when I’m in a phase/ mode of vulnerability or have been triggered. That was me last night, but I pushed some of it down, not wanting to break down in front of my son, letting him see how upset I was. In our hotel bathroom, I wanted to scream, punch the wall, cut – but I didn’t. I didn’t though. I just acknowledged it. In bed, I turned away from his bed and silently cried while thinking over our words to each other. That was when I realized he was talking like my husband and how THAT hurt to hear. Maybe I’m also upset about how my husband talks when I’m this way, and can’t quite face that either? I don’t know. I take things the wrong way a lot. I’ve been like that my whole life! I’m over sensitive to negativity, fear, emotions and loss. And it’s getting closer to my going back to work/new job start date. It all piles on. I miss my dad. I miss my mom and am fearful of her age and losing her too.  Feeling short of breath and there’s a sinking pit in my gut. There’s more to that list, but this post is already a lot longer than I planned since I’m writing it on my phone.

I am enjoying seeing the differing landscapes as we drive the long interstate (I-80) through Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming – and states still ahead. These areas always make me think if the pioneers and how they might have felt traveling through this terrain when there were no trails or roads. I admire them beyond measure.

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3 thoughts on “Feeling Tender (as in raw)

  1. Hawkruh I hear some much good in what you’ve shared. All around the hard stuff I hear what sounds like you being grounded and bigger than the hard stuff. The way you are fully aware of the hard stuff and yet your actions seem really strong and healthy.

    It must be so hard to have your two closest people (your husband and son), say words that hurt you. I don’t know what they say but I’ll bet that it’s their own pains turned outward on to you. I see myself do that and other people. I try to remember when someone says something hurtful to me that it’s their pain speaking and they don’t know a better way to deal with it. But I still feel hurt, I don’t know how to deflect that stuff. But i guess awareness is still a good tiny step.

    Traveling with someone is often a stressful event. It bodes well for you that much of your travels with your son were good.

    I don’t mean this as advice but when I read that part about you losing your dad recently and your mom being elderly, and you holding in your feelings about that….it made me wonder if you could express those feelings in some way, like coloring or making sounds…drumming….etc. It doesn’t have to be for anyone else to see or hear (unless you want it to.)….Even if this idea is not helpful to you, it is helpful to me to remember to do this.

    I’m thinking of you starting your new job soon…are you excited for that?

  2. I agree with Gel that there are a lot of good things in what you wrote! I did a 2500 miles road trip through Western US with my parents when I was 14, and I remember how stressful it was for me (although we saw plenty of amazing nature). I don’t have the emotional instability characteristic of BPD, but I’m highly sensitive, which means that stimulation easily becomes overwhelming (just 5 minutes on a train when there are many people and lots of noise and chatter and screaming brakes is enough to put me off for several hours), and since emotions are an automatic way to process stimulation, I’m often overwhelmed by emotions as well. It’s like my skin is very thin and ready to tear every minute. I felt very bad about this condition for many years, until I learned it has something to do with how the brain processes stimulation. I think with your kind of emotionality it’s the same. Once we’ve understood that, it’s probably a little easier to accept, although I sometimes still wish I was different because it causes so much strain in my daily life, and I’m hurt and stressed very easily. On the other hand, I believe that people with intense sensation and strong emotionality experience things in a way that’s closed for most people, and this can be a source of creativity and originality, so it’s really a double-edged sword.

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