Trust. Not the kind that has almost gone extinct in modern society. The kind you find with people that understand you. The right therapist for instance. Oh yes, I think I have found the right one. The kind of person you agree on so many levels with, but they will go out of their way to make you better. Not make you feel better, but actually make you better. Psychotherapy is such a delicate profession after all. My therapist is a woman. And the right therapist for me could only be a woman. For one, I don't like men at all. I despise the way society defines manliness. On the other hand, I love the characteristics attributed to women, because I am characterized by a lot of them. That's just another proof of how messed up our definitions are. Tonight the Borderpolar Photographer went full borderline and trigger warnings signalled like air raid sirens.
Trigger warning: trigger warnings
The gender factor
Firstly, I feel more comfortable talking to a female therapist. I don't feel afraid of getting exposed at all around a female therapist. That's probably in contrast with my behavior against a lot of the other females out there. The importance of the gender factor is not limited to me being comfortable. It's also a trigger for me since as a straight borderline man I have been torn apart by several women in my life. It's not their fault but it is not mine either. So having a discussion with a female hitting all the right buttons (or triggers if you will) is of at most importance.
Wait, are you gonna talk about your exes again?
No, not really. In fact, my exes and their gender are quite irrelevant. Meaning that if I the genders were reversed I would be in exactly the same position. Or even worse because I would not have anything to hold me back. Especially against them. Yet the answer is always buried in the past. Childhood trauma. I have started to remember things that are clearly very twisted and have distorted the way I view large parts of the world surrounding me and other people. On levels that go beyond romantic relationships, but since romantic relationships are the most intense it's where you will find the malfunctioning side of me thriving.
Childhood trauma: the inconvenient truth
When I started this blog I was very excited because I thought I would be comfortable writing about anything. Unless it would hurt someone else. However, this SEO-unfriendly post helped me realize that there are things I have “experienced” that I cannot share with others. Both recent and ancient ones. However, here is the thing; I said “experienced” because I have memories of things that were just dreams, or more like nightmares. These are memories I have considered facts for all my life and my personality was formed based on them. Still, at some point I put them aside and forgot they were in my mind. To put it simply and yet in an obstructed manner, both the gender and the sex factor have greatly affected me. My logical evaluation of things and my actions have not in been in line with my emotional responses and reactions when interacting with females or when sex is involved.
Here is the interesting thing about trauma though. It can be a bullet in one of your lungs, or it can be a wound that got infected and you ended up losing a leg. I fall into the latter category. Nothing terrible happened to me. And yet my brain and my emotional world reacted in a terrible way to the things that happened and formed a crippled person in many regards.
Trigger Warning: Disagreement
Imagine starting to go berserk. Would you like someone equally enraged as your counterpart, or someone calm? Someone who will keep questioning every invalid statement you make. Not dismiss it but instead address it factually and keep asking why you think what you are saying makes sense. This is typically what you do to your own self when you talk to them. At least that's how it works for me and my inner voice. When that voice is gone, I need it replaced with an actual person. So yeah, when I started losing control I was sure what I was saying made sense. Even if it did, I escalated it far too easily. Trigger detected.
Handling a triggered person
When a borderline person goes into borderline mode, it's usually a bad idea to agree with them. The reason for that is that you feed their insecurities and you encourage their distorted point of view. But since generalizations are always a bad idea (and the reason I don't like psychiatry), let's rephrase. When this borderline person goes full borderline it's better to disagree with them. The way the counterpart expresses that disagreement will dictate whether a nuclear disaster or just an intense discussion will follow. So, my therapist tells me the same things I tell to myself when I'm being relational about things. In a very triggering and provocative way, without being forceful or diminishing towards the persona I expose at the time.
The trigger effect
It is exactly this kind of response that will cause me to start shaking and get angry. But since I am not offended I start thinking about the reasons causing my rage and uncovering those inconvenient truths. As you may already know if you are reading this, one theory is that you have to revisit traumatizing experiences to overcome them. But this needs to happen in a controlled and confined environment built with trust. Trust and delicate handling is what differentiates a full blown argument that can leave the patient in ruins with a session that leaves a patient exposed and analyzing what is meant to be analyzed. The human brain is a very delicate machine and requires equally sophisticated treatment.
Apologies to anyone else suffering from bpd, but I really like being borderline. There are many borderline personality traits that are actually gifts. They make borderline people very charismatic. At the same time there are destructive and self-destructive elements that need to be handled and treated. That's all there is to it. We are not the worst and we are not incapable of experiencing true love and happiness. I am not a toxic entity and as a matter of fact I just need to get better at avoiding toxicity and controlling my negative impulses. This proactive way allows people to avoid spiralling down towards utter chaos.
Society is not a monolithic
Someone told me that while society is not ready to handle mental illness, it is not a monolithic entity. In other words, you can find glimpses of hope and understanding even as things stand. That's exactly what I would like to hear from her. The one I have not found yet(?). I like fairy tales.
P.S.: The title is of course inspired by a guy named Lelouch Lamperouge. Red lamp = Red alert.