The rock is a story I tell, it’s a story about just being there for people, not necessarily doing anything, not necessarily being anything just sitting there, silently. I shall get on to that story later, it makes me cry.
I got a Diagnosis of BPD when I was 46, I’m quite old, so my children tell me. I hated it, I would not believe it, I wanted to screw that diagnosis up into a tiny ball and throw it back into my psychiatrists face. The reason, the reason the reason, because I could not possibly be ill not like my mum. No.
My mum has schizophrenia she has been in hospital for a long time, and is now in a home, she was sectioned when I was small and we visited an old grey hospital HIgh Royds, a scary place for a child. My mum was a shell.
I learnt at an early age that there were nutters and loonies and you couldn’t mention your mum, you just couldn’t, you just couldn’t you just couldn’t. Stigma .
So when a very kind man told me I had Borderline Personality Disorder and stuck a label on me for life, it felt like the end, I wanted to die. Stigma.
Attention seeking, manipulative, deceptive, untreatable.
Or maybe I am born an emotional person and had an extremely invalidating environment as a child (bio-social theory) I’m nice really you know. I’m just a person. I work too. I cry a lot. I’m quite funny. I have a family. I used to be a punk. I love my children. I am lots of things. I’m not just mental.
The story I want to tell, is how I got through that first year, it was like this. I don’t accept this, I don’t understand this, I am someone else now. Who is Sue? Help me!!
The story of the rock is about support and of people and someone who helped me answer these questions.
I’m a member of an online group where we practised DBT skills, it’s where I learnt them. We supported each other. One day someone in this group said I don’t know what to do, I feel like there is a rock pressing down on me.
I looked and thought I’m so tired too, I can’t move, I can’t think today so I just said “I’m coming to sit under the rock with you, I’m just going to be with you” so I virtually sat down. Within a few minutes more people from the group came to sit down under the rock to just be with that person. We brought kittens and blankets and I brought my rabbits. We just sat under the rock, together, just being, just sitting with one another. A virtual place of safety, of understanding.
These people helped me, but someone else sat by me through my discovery of who am I? what is this? Can i begin to accept this? A rock, my care coordinator, a social worker, listened to me, offered me advice, did not judge, reminded me I am still human, was just there. This is the story I tell to MH staff.
To all of you people who work with people with BPD, somedays it may seem hard, but I need you to know, you can be like a rock, what you do, what you say and how you say it, it matters. It really matters. It really matters.
I have a new care coordinator now, but I learnt that somedays it’s just about being with someone, not judging them as good or bad, that your better or worse, but accepting people for who and what they are. No matter how ill they are.