Take a look at this. (And don’t baulk at it being twenty minutes – this was the best twenty minutes I’ve spent today, and if you want a laugh, you should stick it out, and if you feel like I do ever, with worries and numbness and blocks, you should watch this).

Let’s talk about it. Let me start by saying I feel vulnerable in writing a blog. I’m anonymous, but my blog would make an easy target for some apprentice CSIS intel trying to find out who I am; it’s all there, and finding me would take anyone less than 48 hours. I’m completely dedicated to watching my statistics page, and seeing if I got any views. I’m worried that because I missed last week I’ll have dropped readers because I was inconsistent; as if it mattered – as if that was ever the reason for me writing in the first place! I’m sorry I missed last week, p.s., I was on vacation and the internet died with no way to get it back. I feel more vulnerable for the fact that I will hit 100 posts before I hit 100 regular viewers than I do for what I post. What bullocks, Christina – don’t be such a diva.

I wondered, while watching this video, if mental illness was characterized by this unwillingness to be vulnerable, and the brain (or mind or spirit) compensating with extreme reactions that become symptoms. Take BPD, for example. It comes in at least two colours, one of which is me, the emotion suppressor, the angered analytic, the self-damaging drone. This strain of BPD comes with an incredible ability to contain and squash all emotional reactions, hating every feeling that dares to pass through my thoughts. I cast venom on all my hated emotions, squeeze them down, and thus create small explosives in my own body, that detonate when I can’t tamp down the emotions any longer. At that point, I have a crisis.

There’s another variety of BPD (if not hundreds, of course) that I met when doing DBT. This is the one that, apparently, more people think of as classic BPD – the one that seems to explode at any given moment, to ricochet itself into a furious storm. But this, I think, is also vulnerability, to the triggers and the loneliness that we experience, and a way of fighting back is to react, strongly.

But does that mean that we were vulnerable, or that we were reacting to vulnerability itself?

I’m vulnerable all over my body and all over my brain. I’m a walking bull’s-eye. The person with the best aim, though, is me. I can hit all my vulnerable spots in the space of a breath.

I actually want to stop writing now. The video has left me feeling precisely what it discusses. Naturally. I want to say I simply don’t know (and I probably don’t), quit, and stop thinking about this. Not knowing is making me feel like crying. Why? I don’t get it!

Let me walk this through, and try to live with the feeling for a minute. I feel vulnerable because a) she’s hit some trigger points in discussing emotion, control, organizing, etc., b) there are apparently people who don’t feel this way and somehow open up to it like a flower to bees, c) it sounds so simple to just accept vulnerability and become healthy again, and so far it hasn’t worked like that, d) why did she have to be a researcher like me and an optimistic control freak like me and manage to come out on the other side unlike me?, and e) how does one simply find self worth in all of this? She didn’t answer that! How can I be worthy? Tell me how!

She seems to feel that She IS Enough, that she has found some self-worth, that she has moved on, that she is happy. I’m NOT enough, I’m NOT worthy, I’m not anything! I’m not on TED talks explaining my interesting research. I’m barely capable of letting my brain encompass the idea that I’m moving to another country because that very idea is so intimidating that I’m busy denying reality all whilst packing my things!

I know it’s not her job, nor part of her talk, to give those answers. She’s provoking me to ask, which is the point. I’m sorry, I don’t want to be ungrateful to her words. It just doesn’t feel fair that I can’t even get through a day without terror such that I can even begin to deal with dealing with vulnerability. I do wish it was easier to accept that life isn’t fair.

(Meanwhile, brain says: life has been more than fair to you – you’re typing on a COMPUTER, you dork, lots of people don’t even have food, or water, or parents, or a job. What’s the matter with you. Get a grip. Go help someone and stop being such a selfish bitch.)

OK this is going downhill. Cheers!


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