What it’s Like, part 4 BPD and PTSD

I’m doing Borderline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder together for two reasons:
1. It is often hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.
2. They were both caused by the same events.

This post contains possible triggers such as accounts of physical and verbal abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

Borderline is best summed up by saying I’m terrified of being abandoned by the people I know. I am clingy and need constant reassurance that I’m loved and my actions are okay. But yet, I have mood swings and angry outbursts. It’s pretty difficult to live like this. All that constant stress… And PTSD gives me night terrors and makes me hyper-aware of my surroundings. There are triggers for PTSD that cause me a rush of emotion and often spirals out of control into either a fit of sobbing or a panic attack. All of my triggers are associated with my traumatic experiences. I began to be abused in 1997 and continually was abused until 2007. The typical day for me during those 10 years was to get myself up and get myself to school and get bullied for being different. Then I’d come home and start doing my chores. I was given more work than my siblings. If they weren’t all done before my parents got home (they never were, there was way too much to do and about an hour to do it in) I would be beaten. If I got help from my uncle or my parents were late coming home and I got the work all done by some miracle, they would inspect the work and I was verbally or physically punished if even the slightest detail was off. If they couldn’t find faults with the work, they would always find some other reason… like the homework I couldn’t do because I was cleaning the whole damn house, my grades, the dinner I cooked, or something else. Once I was dragged out of the top bunk while sound asleep and beaten. A book had fallen off the shelf by my bed and my stepdad accused me of reading when I should be sleeping. But I was sleeping. He sometimes made up reasons. Like apparently if I didn’t look him in the eye while he was berating me, I must be hiding something and done something wrong. So he’d punish me for that. If I did look at his eyes, I wouldn’t be able to repeat back what he said, so I’d get punished for that. There were a lot of things like this where I was damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t. Another one was I wasn’t supposed to talk unless an adult was talking to me, but I was supposed to ask for help with my homework. I couldn’t do both. So at first I fought back, but I just got punished more and more, so then I quit trying to be good. There was no use in trying to be good if I was just going to be punished no matter what. I used to pray that my parents would die in a car accident on the way home from work so I wouldn’t be beaten anymore. I also got into a fight with my stepdad when I was 15 where I actually tried to kill him. By this point, I felt like he deserved it. I lost, and my parents made me see a psychologist, but forbade me from telling him any of the things that went on at home. They were always in the room with me and I was beaten when we got home if they felt I said too much.

Since most of my repeated daily traumas were related to doing household cleaning, I now cannot do it. I can force myself to vacuum and do laundry, but that is all I can do after 12 years of recovery. I can’t clean the bathroom, do dishes, or mop the floor. If I try to do them, I re-experience the emotions that I did when I was a kid, have flashbacks, and then it quickly causes me to either break down and cry or to have a panic attack. One such episode was so bad I lost touch with reality and was hospitalized. I had touched a wet dishcloth. That’s what this is like.

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