It is time. I have waited thirty years to write this story. My story. It isn't glamorous. I'm not famous. I'm not important. I'm not special. I'm just another human being, being human. I was born in the middle of nowhere. I grew up in my head, too quickly. I lived imaginary lives that never happened. The life I lived was much less interesting, but it's the one I'm stuck with- When I am old and gray, waiting for death to find me, what will I remember? The life I wanted or the life I wasted? ...When I realized this- everything changed, and I changed with it~
...There is no way to present my story in such a way that can leave the reader in suspense for thirty years, the duration of time that I lived in ignorance, unaware of my condition. Although I have lived my life in the pursuit of self-awareness, I realize now how blissful those erratic, selfish years were. What I have lost. The bad patterns that I can no longer knowingly choose to go on repeating. What a gift that time was! How much patience and tolerance others have generously lent me. It is time for me to start repaying my debts...
Sometimes I rationalize life to myself this way: "We" are born a little cosmic credit. As infants we are entitled to the care and time and attention required to nurture and raise us into young people who can learn to be self-sufficient. Some are born with a disproportionate allowance. Not everyone has their basic needs met. Others are born with exceptional advantages and privileges. Whatever the balance, remember everything is relative. At some point or another; financially, emotionally, karmically- We hit zero. When we hit zero, we begin to go into cosmic debt. The only way to work of cosmic debt is to live a good life. To earn additional cosmic credit, one must find ways to help others. This may be as simple as smiling at a stranger on the street or as grandiose as curing a disease. Again, everything is relative. One can never know the impact one or the other will have on the world... (something about a butterfly's wings starting a breeze that turns into a hurricane.)
Everyone is trying their best. Everyone is working to their full potential, even when it seems they are not doing anything at all. Sometimes, that is all we can manage for the moment. Sometimes we are in pain to be the person for someone else to comfort. Sometimes we are cutting someone off in traffic, pissing them off, but keeping them from running over a little boy down the road. Who knows? It seems as likely as it is unlikely.
So... part of my purpose right now is to write about my experiences. I have started a series of entries on each of the 9 criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I have run away from being labelled for over a decade, and now that it has happened- I feel relieved in a way. There is therapy. There are books to read. There are finally other people like me to relate to... However, a friend gave me a fantastic piece of advice; "Don't let your diagnosis turn into your excuse for maintaining bad behavior." I will admit, there have been a few moments in the past few months during which I looked at someone dumbfounded, as if to say, "But I have BPD! How can you judge me? I can't help it! ...I mean, I'm working on that! I'm undergoing a process, and you're not helping me!"
At that point, I was not ready to attack the problem yet. I was simply striving to cope with the idea that I am different. Now I am beginning to put things into perspective. I am realizing that I need a lot of time to pass- so that I can see situations from a distance. The real challenge is to not actively analyze the situation throughout the downtime, creating wild scenarios and making infuriating assumptions. I need to let the details simmer in the back of my brain, the way a song does when I am writing without even being aware of it... Then, just like the lovely tunes that I have breathed out seemingly effortlessly, I can hear the answers come to me.
Of course, it is not effortless. Getting distance from a situation is a huge struggle for me. I have an impeccable emotional memory. Recalling an old memory can evoke the original sensations of the moment as vividly as the moment I experienced them;
...The blades of my father's razor slicing into the soft bed of my thumb. An innocent childhood accident that has left me with a small phobia of sharp objects and saved me from the common BPD habit of cutting.
...My confidence sinking when I received a judgmental email from my best friend in high school about why I would never be a Korean pop-star/singer. A silly school girl pipe dream that neither of us pursued- or perhaps that I am finally pursuing now, in a way... over ten years later.
..My heart breaking when I found abortion papers in my now ex-boyfriend's apartment after I just moved in with him. Papers dated during the months that I had assumed we were exclusive... Mr. AOL.
I always feel as though I am exposing more than my talent, my skills -or lack thereof... I put my heart and soul on display, my story. And now, as part of my processing and healing, my learning and growing, I will begin to share these stories. I have long avoided committing them to written words -because there are many characters who may prefer to remain anonymous. I remind the reader to remember that my accounts of events are completely skewed from my perspective, an admittedly flawed and warped reflection of reality. I will refrain from using real names. I will omit identifying details whenever possible, but I will not alter the truth according to me.
On the other hand, there will be some fictionalized portions, marked as such. Stories that tie all the loose ends together for me. I will do my best to show respect to the people who have been so significant to me. I would never intend harm or shame. So, as you read, if you choose to read... Let your mind be like a Teflon pan. Let the words hit the surface and slide out again, leaving only some faint feeling that a breeze has swept across your skin for a moment.
Reading the written word, unlike listening to music, is a much more volitional experience. Like my music, sharing is part of my creative process. I so appreciate those giving me your time and attention. Whoever you are, you are a beautiful audience.