Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

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Celebrity Worship Syndrome

November 7, 2011

I searched this knowing that I would find some kind of mental illness attached to it. I didn’t know it would be so in depth though. The reason I’m writing this is for one reason. Merrill Osmond (who I will call MO in this article) of the Osmond Brothers is retiring. So what? You say.

Well when someone in your family has CWS and their celebrity obsessee is retiring, you will worry.

Let me give you a few wiki excerts about CWS:

“Psychologists in the U.S.A. and UK. created a celebrity worship scale to rate the problems. In 2002, United States psychologists Lynn McCutcheon, Rense Lange, and James Houran introduced the Celebrity Attitude Scale, a 34 item scale administered to 262 persons living in central Florida.[4] McCutcheon et al. suggested that celebrity worship comprised one dimension in which lower scores on the scale involved individualistic behavior such as watching, listening to, reading and learning about celebrities whilst the higher levels of worship are characterized by empathy, over-identification, and obsession with the celebrity.

However, later research among larger UK samples have suggested there are 3 different aspects to celebrity worship;[5] John Maltby (University of Leicester), and the aforementioned psychologists examined the Celebrity Attitude Scale among 1732 United Kingdom respondents (781 males, 942 females) who were aged between 14 and 62 years and found the following 3 dimensions to celebrity worship:

Entertainment-social

This dimension comprises attitudes that fans are attracted to a favorite celebrity because of their perceived ability to entertain and become a social focus such as “I love to talk with others who admire my favorite celebrity” and “I like watching and hearing about my favorite celebrity when I am with a large group of people”.

Intense-personal

Intense-personal aspect of celebrity worship reflects intensive and compulsive feelings about the celebrity, akin to the obsessional tendencies of fans often referred to in the literature; for example “I share with my favorite celebrity a special bond that cannot be described in words” and “When something bad happens to my favorite celebrity I feel like it happened to me’”.

Borderline-pathological

This dimension is typified by uncontrollable behaviors and fantasies regarding scenarios involving their celebrities, such as “I have frequent thoughts about my favorite celebrity, even when I don’t want to” and “my favorite celebrity would immediately come to my rescue if I needed any type of help”. ”

Now I would say that most of us experience the first one. We have a favorite celebrity and if something of theirs comes out to buy then we’ll buy it, this one doesn’t seem to be a large problem. The second one sounds like a lot of the fans who say “Justin Bieber is my life” and they are usually quite young. They generally grow out of it as they mature. Now the 3rd one shows some mental health problems, delusional thoughts about someone they don’t know personally.

My mother is the majority intense- personal but can be borderline-pathological.

“Evidence indicates that poor mental health is correlated with celebrity worship. Researchers have examined the relationship between celebrity worship and mental health in United Kingdom adult samples. Maltby et al. (2001) found evidence to suggest that the intense-personal celebrity worship dimension was related to higher levels of depression and anxiety. Similarly, Maltby et al., in 2004, found that the intense-personal celebrity worship dimension was not only related to higher levels of depression and anxiety, but also higher levels of stress, negative affect, and reports of illness.”

People who become obsessed with things generally have a problem. They have holes in their lives that they fill with things, routines and people. It’s normal to want to do it but sometimes it can go too far.

Celebrity Worship syndrome I would say is one of the main causes of my BPD. My mother’s obsession lead to me feeling lesser than MO and less loved than he was by her. She would pay and still does hundreds of pounds of items of his clothing or stupid items he had touched. They hang on her bedroom walls along with thousands (literally) of pictures and posters of him. She turned the marital bedroom into a shrine and my dad now has his own room. She has no money and numerous credit cards. She works to so she can see MO while my dad worked for me and mum. Everything she did and does is for him. She would leave frequently to other contries to where he was often leaving me with a very mentally unwell father. My feelings of abandonment come from my mother leaving me for MO more than once a year, without telling me beforehand so as not to upset me. Although not being told meant that she would leave unexpectedly and it made like seem very unpredictable. It often reminds of the Strange Situation I started off as the secure child, crying when she left, happy she was home but the more and more it happened the more I became Anxious-resistant insecure, I would cry when she left and when she came home, I would be resistant and not want to see her and accept her holiday present with reluctance. It was a difficult pattern and when your parent has CWS you start to hate the Celebrity more and more. She believes that MO can solves all of her problems, he can cure her sorrows and troubles. She won’t listen if you tell her that he will never fall in love with her and that he isn’t interested in making her life better because he has his own life. He may recognise her when she goes to see him but when she pours out her soul about all of her problems, he can’t do anything about it and he knows it’s not his place to. In ways he has crossed boundaries because he is such a nice person and does want to help but then she sees this as him loving her and wanting to save her from her misery. I remember when I met MO it felt very strange, he was so lovely that I wondered why I hated him in the first place, then I realised I shouldn’t have been directing my hatred towards him because it’s not his fault he’s alive. Then it started turning more towards my mother. She believes she is in love with him. But infatuation and obsession is not love. It’s not love at all.

Just thinking about it is reducing me to tears. She always loved him more and she still does. Dad has even said it too, she loves MO more than both of us. Now MO is retiring at the end of next year and I’m scared mum is going to die. She always told me if anything happened and she couldn’t see him again she would kill herself. If I died she wouldn’t kill herself because she would still have MO in her life. Surely it should be the other way around?

How am I supposed to deal with that? How as I child was I supposed to deal with that? Knowing you aren’t as good as some strange in your mothers life.

Edit: I remembered I had this picture that I took of a list I found written by my mother.

If you can’t read it, it says.

List of blessings that I am grateful for!

Merrill.

My hair.

A good pair of working eyes.

My beautiful cat.

Microwave.

Savannah (I scribbled out my real name on paint to protect anon)

I was last on her list and in a different pen to everything else, meaning I wasn’t originally added but was thought about at a later point. Sure I’m on the list I guess but to be below the microwave and her hair…

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Why Borderline and Bipolar extremes are different.

November 2, 2011

I have only experienced Bipolar from my dad so please excuse me if I get this all completely wrong but I wanted to try and explain why borderlines are not diagnosed as Bipolar.

Emotions in both illnesses are of the extreme kind but they are different in the ways that:

Bipolar extreme emotions are generally up and down, with no inbetween (when uncontrolled).

With Borderline Personality Disorder, you may not know which emotion you’re feeling because you can experience many things at once. The change can be very quick from one to another. There isn’t really any kind of mania in BPD.

Bipolar moods are often due to chemical imbalances (with occasional triggers). This is why Bipolar is easier to treat with medication than BPD.

Borderline moods are (often) learned through upbringing and experience. A lack of a controlled home environment or unstable parents can often lead to an inability to understand an appropriate reaction to a situation. Dissapointment is a big factor in the big Borderline mood swings.

Bipolar lows come from the imbalances and are triggered by traumatic events which cause severe depression. They can’t always be explained.

Borderline lows sometimes have no cause, there is a general feeling of emptiness at all times.

Bipolar highs are often followed by delusional thinking such as feelings of grandeur and even beliefs of super human abilities which can lead to harmful things like over spending or promiscuity.

Borderline highs don’t often occur but when they do the feeling is very limited and doesn’t last. This is why people with BPD are known for addictions and potentially harmful activities such as spending a lot of money or promiscuity  due to wanting that high again and again. It doesn’t have lasting effects.

Although both Bipolar and Borderline are often associated with the same potentially harmful activities, the reasoning is generally different. People with Bipolar do the harmful things because they feel high, like they can do anything. Whereas Borderlines are trying to create that high.

People with Bipolar are generally hospitalised due to harmful manic behaviour or depression.

People with Borderline personality disorder and generally hospitalised due to severe self harm or suicide attempts.

They can be very similar and can be diagnosed together but there are major differences between the two. I generally see Borderline as more of a natural reaction to traumatic events whereas Bipolar is more an inherited chemical illness that is often combined with trauma. Some people with Bipolar have the illness despite a “good” early life whereas people with Borderline have generally have some kind of trauma or abuse during childhood.

I know so many people who feel they would rather have anything but Borderline Personality Disorder due to the stigma surrounding it but seeing Bipolar in my father makes me most afraid of that illness. When I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder my first thought was “I don’t have Bipolar, thank goodness” because to me anything other than Bipolar was better because of what I had already suffered with it. Please don’t feel offended, I know a lot of you who read this blog may have Bipolar but you will know more than anyone how hard it is. All mental illnesses are awful but when you’ve grown up with one that has taken someone special from you, you will always have that little spot in you that say, this one needs to be destroyed first.

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Children’s movies and bright eyes.

August 28, 2011

I often notice my inner child come out with I’m with my husband. He allows me to be a child and not feel embarrassed. I can watch children’s TV and cuddle a toy and he will stroke my hair and let me feel comforted. It may sound strange but my therapists have all said for me to have some time to be a child.  I don’t have many cuddly toys but my therapist told me to buy one special toy to have as a comfort. He is a wonderful penguin and he is a great healer and comforter. When I’m feeling upset my husband always brings him to me. It sounds strange even reading it to myself. I really am quite emotionally immature.

People with borderline personality disorder do have the emotional intelligence of a child due to things that may have happened to them. We may lack understanding due to confusion when we are actually children. Personally for me I had two very contrasting and chaotic parents, one parent is sex obsessed and lives on porn and the other thinks anything sexual is bad and wrong, for example. What does a child believe? Now imagine that happens with a lot of other life lessons, contrasting views, where each parent may change their view from one second to the next. Your mind gets scrambled and when you grow up you try and think what you believe but then you aren’t so sure. And with parents like that it is almost impossible to ever be a child. You have to be the adult and I was the only adult in my household. I took care of them.

Most of my family would think it weird or stupid if they knew J indulged in me acting like a child. But it’s not like I go out in public in children’s clothing and wear a dummy, I just allow myself to regress into a childlike state to experience the comfort from J that I never got as a child. When I’m in that state of mind I love watching children’s movies and my eyes light up with excitement when I see a pretty princess or a talking turtle, I sometimes even point and say “look darling that turtle talks!” almost in a child’s voice. It’s such a wonderful feeling. It can also block out the things that are happening around me because I’m a child so they no longer concern me. These behaviours have never worried me because they’ve never lasted for an extended period or to a worrying extent. I’m just able to enjoy being young. Surely when you’ve had no childhood it’s natural to try and be a child when you are out of the situation that took your childhood from you. I have a nice balance though because I am always very adult any other time but as soon as I get to watch a good cartoon or kid’s movie I have the childhood I wasn’t allowed! I hope to watch a turtle’s tale later 🙂

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Dad’s Birthday

August 17, 2011

I told my mum not to go to the hospital. The more goes the more he thinks she wants him back and keeps getting crushed when she says she doesn’t care. Me, J and my aunt went to see him, I made him a cake especially as I thought it would be the best present to get him as anything else he would immediately lose. We got there and they had made him a cake. It was difficult to hold back the tears, I worked really hard on it and it was pointless. I was then only one who ate a slice and the rest was brought home. While there he definately wasn’t well, it’s extremely hard going to see him. He keeps introducing me saying “this is my beautiful daughter!”, it’s upsetting because he’s talking like that because he’s unwell.

One more thing. He says he’s coming home tomorrow. This time it’s real. This happened last week too, the psychiatrist also said to him “we have to ask your family first”. He is NOT well. They keep trying to send him home and expecting us to look after him. There is no way in hell I am looking after him like this. He will get abusive if I refuse to do something for him. They did the exact same last week, so he knows if he doesn’t come home then it’s down to me saying no. They said they will have the crisis team and he will do activities in the day at the hospital but that is NOT good enough. He cannot be home. He will try and force himself on my mother and he will be demanding and unreasonable in every way possible. I was supposed to get a phonecall tonight but nothing has happened. I swear to God if they bring him home tomorrow without saying anything I will walk out of my own home. I don’t even have anywhere to go but I’m not staying at home if he comes back. He keeps talking about bringing women to the house and saying he won’t divorce my mum because she’ll get the money but he says she is still his wife.

It’s true that she is still his wife but it’s only in paper. In every other way she is not his wife. You can’t say “this is my wife” just because you have a piece of paper that says it’s true. You need a relationship with the person too. He wants his wedding ring back for goodness knows what reason but he intends to sleep around and chuck her out. I’m sick of explaining this to the stupid bloody doctors who are trying to kick him out for me to deal with. I reckon they will call me in the morning and cause hassle because tomorrow is my husband’s exam results day so it’s not like we’ll both be stressed enough.

BAH!

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Dear me,

June 29, 2011

Dear Little Me,

Why did you have to be so awkward. There are reasons why they never liked you, why they used you. Even your parents couldn’t love you enough, especially her, she only loved you if she wanted something. And he was always selfish, you were always second. Why couldn’t you just be good enough. You were always overweight and disgusting, that’s why they laughed at you. That’s why they called you a freak. You were just weird, not good enough to be their friends. They were better than you. Sure, you were smart but who cared about that? You thought maybe being smart would get you somewhere even if you weren’t attractive but you were just too quiet to be noticed. Plus, your friends were smarter than you anyway, so you were never smart enough. I know you tried to look nice but you made a fool of yourself. They laughed and asked what was on your face or what had you done to your hair. You just could never get it right. Your clumsiness made you stupid, your clumsiness made them hit you. You stupid child. Nothing made sense in your world anymore, you could never figure out why you were hated. But did they need a reason, you were just destined to be locked away. You hid a lot, I know, it was safer to be alone. You cried and made sure no one heard and if there was a knock on your door, your face was immediately bright and cheerful, of course nothing was wrong. But maybe you deserved to cry? Not that it mattered. No one would come. No one would know what to do with you. Even if they did, they would get sick of you and leave at the first chance. Why did you keep going? I don’t know what possessed you. Did you believe that one day, you would be saved? What made you think they would suddenly change and take care of you. Are you delusional? I think so. Who in your life has never stabbed you through the heart? Everyone is destined to break you because you are breakable. And hell, do you deserve it.

Love Adult Me.

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Competing.

June 25, 2011

So here I am, decided against self harm so I’m not a dissapointment and decide to go on a late night stroll. There’s not many people out and It’s deathly quiet so I thought I’d do some writing.

I thought I would write about the 3 people who (are supposed) to love me most. My parents and my husband. All 3 of them have something in common, something that drains the life out of me on a daily basis and makes the hole inside of me bigger.

Obsessions.

Now, from a young age I have had to compete against my parents obsessions, Merrill Osmond of the Osmond Brothers and Football. I always knew my mum loved Merrill more than me and my dad would never stop talking about football. The only way to ever be with them was to go to an Osmond concert or go to the football. Otherwise I was alone. I felt neglected for these obsessions, passions, whatever you want to call them and It meant I was always fighting for their love and attention although I never believed they would love me more than those things. I was fighting a losing battle so at one point I guess I just gave up fighting for their love and accepted that I wouldn’t get it and I didn’t want to keep havig to do what they wanted to be with them, I wanted to be their choice not their option. My dad has started to be with me more, my mum has never changed.

My husband spends more time gaming than he spends being with me. It feels like exactly the same thing I’ve got through, I feel neglected, unloved and at some points I just leave because I would rather sit in a dark street than sit in a room with my husband feeling more lonely than ever. You can feel lonely if you are alone but the worst lonliness is when you’re with other people and they choose
Not to be with you. At that point, I just wish I didn’t exist, to see if that would make them come away from their obsession and see that I’m alive too.

I’ve screamed, I’ve cried, I’ve cut. In the end they use their passions to further ignore. All of these people have been damaged in their childhood and need something to fill a hole, yet I don’t seem to fit the bill and that makes my hole even bigger.

I try and justify it by thinking maybe it’s just me, maybe I make it all up. Maybe I just want attention too much. Maybe they get so damn sick of me that It’s my fault they would rather be elsewhere and with other people. Maybe if I were better they might love me enough to fill that gap. And that I come back to reality and go and cut myself again.

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Conversations with daddy.

June 21, 2011

Very rare and mostly about football. But this time he came knocking on my door, he said he’d been on the Mind website and found a page that described Bipolar really well and he wondered if I had read it. He isn’t very good at computers so he doesn’t realise that you can find millions of pages of information about Bipolar but he wanted to talk to me about it and I am always willing to talk about my issues and his. I said that I have indeed read it and that he should look up Borderline Personality Disorder so maybe he could understand my illness and he was more than happy to learn. We don’t talk about emotions and feelings, he’s a manly man, he doesn’t do crying and showing how he really feels (unless of course he can’t help it due to illness). I always try and get the most I can out of these rare encounters that he wants to know more about what makes me tick and wants to share with me his feelings. He read through the page and didn’t say much. It didn’t matter that he didn’t respond much, I was happy though that he didn’t looked shocked, he read it, took it in and accepted it. He especially concentrated hard on the part that said “how to help someone with BPD”, he read it all out loud. These small things, mean everything. I spoke about mum and how I believe she caused a lot of my problem and I said how I believe she loves her celebrity obsession more than me, to which he responded, “she probably does.” That cut me deep but he knows how that feels, she always loved her obsession more than him too.

We spoke some more and he told me about his breakdowns as if I wasn’t there, maybe blocking out the idea that I had to see this happen. He explained that his first psychotic episode was because he thought my mum was trying to take me away from him (she had threatened this before) but he became irrational and tried to hurt her. All these years I had thought he was trying to kill her because he was “mad” and didn’t know what was happening. When he was actually trying to save me from being taken away. It changes my whole perspective, of course it doesn’t make it better that he tried to hurt her but a parent who loves their child will fight to save them from harm and will never let them be taken away without a battle. My dad was willing to hurt, even kill someone he loved to prevent losing me.

This knowledge is so precious, especially to someone who frequently believes they are unlovable. It’s frightening, of course. But to actually know that someone would go to the ends of the earth for you is in itself, well, madness.

I love you, dad.